Silencing the GTX-480 and airflow questions


I am trying to make my GTX-480 more silent. I have an Antec P182 silent case, Noctua CPU ventirad and case fans, 2 HDs, and 1m away from the PC I need to look at the LEDs to make sure it is turned on. Until I run a graphics intensive game that is. My GTX-280 was already very loud, but this new GTX480 is unbearable. I have to raise the game sound level to a very high level to hear through the vacuum cleaner noise the 480 is making. I even hear it through my headphones.

The goal is to reduce the noise level, which I suppose means reducing the card temperature. But I don't want an external watercooling solution or anything similar, that's too expensive. Apparently aftermarket VGA cooler manufacturers aren't selling anything for the GTX-480 yet so I was thinking about using a case fan while they are finalizing their products. I'd put it into a slot right next to the 480 to help with the heat, but I am not sure that I understand the way VGA cooling works properly. (links if any would be welcome)

If I got it right, the fan in the GTX is not really a fan but more like a (leaf) blower. It takes air from inside the PC case, hopefully not too hot, and blows it through the radiator inside the card itself and out of the PC case. Am I correct?

Then, regarding the extra fans I'd put into the nearest PCI slot, I am at a loss, I've been reading conflicting information in various forums.

Apparently a fan that blows air into the GTX blower to increase its air flow would be helpful?

Then people are talking about having a fan that blows cool air INTO the GTX radiator? I am having trouble understandng this. My instincts are telling me that the radiator is hot, hence I should create a flow of air to extract that heat from the rad and remove it from the case asap. People are saying "send some cool air onto the rad". But then what? It won't just get cooler automagically, heat will be transferred to that flow of air and then what? Won't this make the card bathe in hot air, possibly even heating up the air that the GTX blower is sending into the card? I don't have the kind of HAF case that has a fan above the PCI slots to target that air flow specifilically. So, should I be sending air ONTO the GPU rad or AWAY from it?

Thanks, any help would be appreciated.
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  1. In that case, you're gonna have to get creative if you want to add a fan. It's best to send cool air into the cooler, but from the pictures I've seen of that case, there is little room inside, and I was looking at pics of it when it was empty!

    Can you get a picture of it with all your parts inside?
  2. jedimasterben said:
    Can you get a picture of it with all your parts inside?

    I'll be rebuilding my system this week-end for a new motherboard and CPU, I'll post a picture then. In the meantime: if I am supposed to send cool air INTO the GPU radiator, I am not supposed to put the fan right next to the graphics card, but 1-2 PCI slots away, aren't I?
  3. Well, I would put it to where it is blowing as much air as possible to the GPU core, so I'd play around with it and see how far away it needs to be to get the best airflow.
  4. An Antec P182.

    Gosh, psycho, it's in the first line of the OP!! ;)
  5. Well, here are the pics:

    Without the extra intake fan:

    With an extra intake fan (120mm Enermax Everest, 1000 RPM, 46 CFM, 12 dB):

    The extra fan *seems* to reduce temp by 2°C, but it may as well be inside the margin of error.

    Anyway, the card runs rather hot, at idle it is at around 56°C (without the Enermax fan) or 53°C (with the Enermax). Did some testing with MSI Afterburner/Kombuster, the temp rises to 87°C @ 80% fan with the best fan profile I could come up with (I'm not an expert by any means). But this is way too much fan speed.

    And how do you know that the Rosewill will have better airflow around the GPU? I don't see anything next to the PCI slots, unlike some other cases with a fan on the side panel. It seems huge when empty, but add an aftermarket CPU ventirad, and use 4 disk slots and it may not fare better than the Antec, won't it? At least in the Antec the disks are in a separate compartment with their own airflow, never above 45°C.

    The case is not being rated for "noise reduction" either, and the latter is very important to me. What can one expect from a slightly better airflow within the case, a decrease of the temperature by 10°C? This would still make too much noise I am afraid. In my case, below 50% fan I don't hear a thing, 60-75% = loud, 75%+ = kill me.

    I think I'll try a 60 CFM extractor next to the GPU rad in the coming days.
  6. It's a hot card. You have to buy an air cooled aftermarket solution when it comes out or go watercooling. Even folks who use tech stands and have a 38mm 110 CFM fan bloing on the card for testing still get high temps.

    You could buy a weaker card that's quieter, not much you can do.
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