Recommendation for a quiet, high-end card?

I built the system in my signature block with a couple of years ago and I now want to upgrade the graphics card. I am not very price sensitive, and I've read a lot of reviews on the latest high-end graphics cards, such as ATI's 4850 and 4870, and Nvidia's GTX 260 and 280. I'm leaning towards ATI because they seem to use less power. I have a quiet rig now and I like it that way.

For the ATI 4870, any thoughts as to which brand to use?

Is the 4870 noisy in your experience?

I'm not averse to putting an aftermarket cooler on the card to get the temp and noise down. Any recommendations? If I'm going to do that, should I consider a different card?

Thanks in advance!
CPU = Core 2 Duo E6600, OC'd to 3.0 GHz
RAM = 2048 MB Corsair XMS DDR2 8500
HARD DRIVE = WD Caviar SE16 500 GB
VIDEO CARD = NVidia GeForce 7950 GT
SOUND = SB X-Fi Xtreme Gamer Fatal1ty
8 answers Last reply
More about recommendation quiet high card
  1. high end cards and quite cant go in the same sentence.
    Well i have 2 gtx260 and if u leave the stock fan speed on there pretty quite.
  2. there might be a passively cooled version of the 4850 or 4870 somewhere.... but they are fairly quiet even when you force the fan to actually do something productive
  3. I have a beast of a PSU so connectors and power will be no problem.

    Should I consider two slower, passive cards in SLI or Crossfire?

    Thanks for the comments.
  4. Go to the arctic cooling website and take a look at the passive coolers they have for the video cards, or shop around on some websites such as newegg you may find a few cards with the passive coolers. The passive cooling devices also have an option for 2 small fans to be placed on them going off memory (aka Turbo Module), just remember you need a special connection they sell if you want to go SLI (I think they sold it through ebay).

    You can also look into sound dampening your case, but I have no idea how to go about that, and plus it probably wouldn't dampen the GPU fan all that well.
  5. 4870x2 water cooled... now thats silent
  6. Thanks, good tip.

    I see that Force3D is going to put out a 4870 with an Arctic Cooling cooler installed on it. Looks interesting!
  7. When are the manufacturers going to make a 4870 w/ a new cooler (not the stock)? It's the only thing I'm waiting for till I build my new computer... (and my paycheck)
  8. For the above post asking for better cooling on HD 4870

    POWERCOLOR AX4870 512MD5-PPH Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail

    I have no experience with an HD 4870, so I cannot comment on noise, but as far as brands go, I bought a Sapphire 4850 for myself, the other brand I would buy is Visiontek, since they seem to be getting a lot of good views.
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