hi there, i'm about to buy me a whole new pc and i'm currently quite unsure which graphic card i should buy, since the 9800gtx only costs about 40dollars more than the cheapest 8800gts 512 (i'm from switzerland, so the prices are a bit different, the cheapest 8800gts in switzrland costs still about 300dollars) i thought i would prefer the 9800gtx. after reading through several reviews, some mentioned that the 9800gtx is quite loud and i'm really into silent pc's.
quote from the review: "More than likely, the high fan speeds come from the driver, but there's not much chance that Nvidia will make any change. The high level of cooling is probably necessary in order to make sure that a maximum number of GPUs will stand up to the 9800 GTX' high frequencies."
now the question for me is, since the 40 dollars the 9800gtx costs more, doesn't really matter to me, but unfortunately noise does, would you recommend buying the 8800gts or still the 9800gtx and reduce the fan speed manually (which will reduce to performance?)? i'm quite torn between the two, the noise warning is a little bit a turn off but 10% more performance for 40dollars is also nice. Perhaps there are few people possessing the 9800gtx who could further comment the noise topic.
However, that's with the stock nVidia cooler so I suppose BFG could have changed it, although the POV that Tom's reviewed looks pretty much identical.
It does sort of suck with Swiss prices, most stuff is decent but we don't get cool things like rebates and our prices are a bit higher. I bought my GTS (G92) for 410 Swiss francs (about the same in dollars) 2 months back.
I have the GTS and although my temps are a bit too high, the fan is quite silent and the card is heavily overclocked.
Mine is quiet like any other card at non 3d usage (compared to 8800gt and x1900xt). Under load it's louder than the 8800gt (which is single slot with a smaller cooler and fan), but it's nowhere near as loud as the x1900xt.
My 8800GTS runs pretty cool and quiet at idle. When the games start the fan does kick up to keep it cool. I haven't seen a temp above 65C and that is with a 750MHz overclock. With the GTS's the manufacturer sets the fan profiles or throttle on the cards. From what I hear the XFX cards control their cards diffrently. They run the fans faster and they tend to stay cooler. Other brands do the opposite, they run fans slower but get higher temps.
Honestly I think any card at idle is going to be virtually silent. At load it will vary card to card. So when a review uses one card they cant speak for the other brands. Maybe should should search for other reviews and log what brands they use and compare their noise levels.
You sound very sensitive to noise, so I would recommend the very quiet 8800GTS...Tom's says the 9800GTX is a beast on sound. Myself, I'll get the 9800GTX because I expect to have a noisy comp. Don't have the money to keep the thing with nice quiet parts yet...and performance > sound for the most part.