XFX HD 4890 1Gb - Fan Noise


My first post here so please be gentle with me!

Just changed my Graphics Card (again) to this Card after reading lots about it. I don't want a Gaming Card as such, but one which will fire my new 26" iYama HD Monitor to 1980x1200 for playback of .mkv HD movies.

I had an ASUS 86600GTS Silent which I was pleased with but wondered if I needed something more. I then bought impulsively an ASUS 8500GT 1Gb - a backward step and the local dealer refuses to take it back.

In the meantime I buy the ATI XFX 4890 - the standard edition. Ist thing I notice is there are no cables. It was registered as HDMI ready but has no HDMI output socket(s).

But the main problem - it has installed ok and runs perfectly - is the blasted louyd fan noise!

Now I've read lots about clicking, twittering and other fan noises - mine is just the loud rush of air exiting from the back of my PC - caused, I think by the way the fan is enclosed.

When I built my rig, silence was a main criteria - I'm fed up that I might have to RMA this thing - anyone got any ideas? What would happen if I removed the plastic housing around the fan?

I cannot believe the noise this thing makes - I'm on manual at the lowest speed setting at 20% but not playing games I cannot tell what speed it makes when under extreme load. It's a fundamental problem - wish there was an alternative cooling system available for this card.

Would welcome anyone's thoughts please

22 answers Last reply
More about 4890 noise
  1. What case do you have it in? Just so we can get an idea of the airflow in it.
  2. Hi - sorry I omitted to update my profile regarding my system this is as follows: -

    Asus P5K Deluxe/WiFi AP (Bios 08.12) : Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4 Ghz (with Side Stepping) : Corsair Twinx 4 x 1Gb 2048-6400C4 DDr 800 : Cooling Ninja Plus :Case Zalman Z-Machine GT1000 : Graphics XFX ATI Raedon 4890HD 1 Gb : PSU Nesteq ECS 7001 700 Watt : RAID Arrays - OS 2 x Western Digital Raptors 140 Gb 10000 rpm SATA in RAID 1 config Storage 4 x Samsung 350 Gb SATA in RAID 10 config (both arrays on Intel ICH9R controller : LG Blu Ray HD DVD Rom GGW-H20L : OS's XP Pro 32-bit and Vista Ultimate 64-bit

    The case is a Case Zalman Z-Machine GT1000 - a mild steel baby built for silience - cost me a fortune.

    Hope this lot helps me please


  3. well theres a surprise .. a big gaming gfx card runs hot and loud

    Your problem is easily solved though . Your first gfx card was OK for hi-def play back so just use that instead
  4. Outlander - I did request a bit of gentleness in my first post! But I appreciate your contribution nonetheless.

    For some reason I am unable to edit my first post for typos - my original card was an ASUS 8600GTS Silent. This seemed to work fine but wondered if I needed a card with more memory - this one has only 256 Mb - as large resolution still images split on the screen and were sometimes blocky when moving them around - once moved to the correct position however the image stabalised after a few seconds and all was well. This jerky movement of still images was the main reason I thought about upgrading.

    So impulsively I bought the ASUS 9500GT 1 Gb card. Oh boy what a mistake!

    The 9500 has only DDR 2 memory and a whole load of other specs add together to make the card inferior to the older 8600 despite it's increased memory. I do understand that The Microsoft VISTA “Windows Experience Index” is not conclusive but before I replaced the 8600, I scored an overall index for my PC of 5.6 - Graphics scored 5.9 with Gaming Graphics 3D scoring 5.6. With the 9500 the overall score dropped considerably to 4.8 – Graphics down to 5.3 and Gaming Graphics 3D scoring a lowly 4.6. On replacing the 9500 with the older 8600, my previous scores were reinstated. These figures were so wide that they made me look again and I decided upon an ATI card - the XFX HD 4890 1 GB which has DDR5 memory. It's worth mentioning that upon installation of the ATI card the overall score was maintained at 5.6, as was the Graphics at 5.9 with the Gaming 3D graphics score jumping to 5.9.

    Yes I know these figures are not worth much but I haven't the time or inclination to load a game and then do proper benchmarking.

    But Outlander you seem correct in what you say - for normal HD viewing of my .MKV files (some of which are over 15 GB in size) I have not noticed any difference at all in viewing with the newer card as compared with the 8600 ASUS.

    My knowledge of graphics cards as you have rightly sussed is woeful. What I want is for my Large resolution images to move around my new 26" iYama monitor's screen smoothly. I thought this was down to graphics memory - now I'm thinking it's down to PC memory - am I right in this assumption? Is it worth installing some more - currently I have 4Gb of Ram. Please check again the specs of my rig - I am gob smacked that the newer ASUS 9500GT does not out perform the older 8600GTS but the noise of the air rushing through the back of my PC with the XFX card is so loud as to make me see if I can RMA it despite it working flawlessly.

    I am at a loss right now and need expert opinion. I came on this forum thinking this was indeed the forum to ask these questions on - please give me some more pointers.


  5. I would just add that the still image problem is still there with the XFX ATI HD Raedon 4890 card so at the moment all I seem to have done is throw money at this with no apparent improvement lol! :(

  6. Use a program like Rivatuner ( or Catalyst Control Center ) to set the fan speed to a set value. IE appx 20%. That should provide enough cooling assuming you dont do heavy gaming, while still significantly reducing noise. It will also allow you to overclock or underclock to get temperatures and performance where you want them.
  7. Thanks but I've already set the CCC prog to "enable fan control" and set this to it's lowest setting - 20%. It makes not difference sliding the slider to max as there is no load going through the gpu as yet so it stays on the minimum and it is awfully loud!

  8. sorry man. Id try Rivatuner. Never had much luck with CCC. Though fan control doesnt always work. My 4850 at 50% fan speed is at 1850rpm, its also 1850 at 100% fan speed. Also HDMI ready means you can get an adapter to work. Mine came with one. Sorry yours didnt.


    hopefully that card will better suit your needs. Fanless, HDMI/DVI/VGA, and decent performance.
  9. @ Rozel: You must unlock the Overdrive panel before you can change the fan speed and 'apply' once you have moved the slider or nothing will happen. You did not mention this and you' be surprised the number of people who miss it!

    For light/moderate gaming the card Mcnuggetofdeath linked to is fine but if you do not game the HD4550 has the same playback decode for a bit less cash. There are passively cooled versions of both and they should have no overheating problems in a case like yours.
  10. lol. sorry. forgot to ask if you were gaming. Coozie is right on there. if all your doing is video playback than 512mb of VRAM and a 4550 are both great options.
  11. Hmm did everybody miss the part were he said he's still having the same problem even with the 4890? I don't know that would hint to me it has to do with video card less and more with the software part.. Just saying...

    First whens the last time you reformatted.. And is that a possiblity? If it is do it.. It's the easiest, and honestly the fastest thing you can do if you don't know what is already wrong. Of course if that's out of the questions. You need to make sure you completely remove drivers, and install the new ones, defrag your comp, make sure nothing is running in the back ground that doesn't have to be..

    You might be right you might have through money right out the window. If you went from a 8xxx to a 4890 and still have the same problem it may not have been your card anyways.

    Now on the 4890 running loud... you must be picky.. Or a crap case for sound... I got a thermaltake speedo, and while ya I can hear my vid. card it's far far from an annoyance. Now if I turned it up past 20-30% then ya.. I could see how that could bother somebody.. Damn thing sounds like a vacuum cleaner lol
  12. try an aftermarket cooler
    make sure you add a 120mm fan to that to keep it cool and quiet.

    this one also looked interesting
    not sure how it will perform, but it looks like it should cool things off well and keep the noise to a minimum.

    i own the arctic cooling, keeps my 4850 (749 core, 1143 mem) at 33C idle, 42C full load. The key is having a 120mm fan mounted on it, like i do. And it is very quiet.
  13. Thanks again for your support guys - much appreciated.

    What I think is 2 things: -

    My Still image problem could be related to available physical Ram - think I need to bump it up from Stock 4 Gb to say 8Gb - the images btw are extremely large - they do not fit on my 26" monitor so I have to pan through them and it's this activity that seems slow and jerky at times.

    Second - I just cannot get the slider to do anything at all in CCC regarding fan speed - it says it's on 20% but when I slide it up nothing happens. Of course I've unlocked the ATI control panel, enabled it and think I've stopped auto tune working too! But the fan noise is still a loud noise as if it's constantly at maximum.

    I like the idea of a third party piece of software to sort this - I've tried rivatuner but it's way over the top for me - simple matter for me is that CCC is not working. I really like this card if I could turn the fan speed down. The fan speed shows it's at 20% and the temp of my GPU has never risen above 43 degrees C. But I think the fan is working flat out - the constant woosh of air I'm hearing is testomy to that.

    And last maybe a third party cooler is an option - is there one without a Fan whatsoever?

    BTW my case is exceptionally built in mild steel throughout, including the panels - it was built to be quiet - I cannot hear the fan inside the case - JUST THE AIR EXPELLING FROM THE REAR OF THE CASE - IT'S LOUD !

    Please keep your thoughts and ideas coming, I'm sure I can sort this somehow.

  14. From your more detailed post it sounds like the fan is, indeed stuck. So, when the system starts, the card fan should run up at 100% for about 1-2 seconds then back down, does it do this? If not perhaps the drivers are corrupted, it will not be the first time this has been the cause of this kind of problem.
    I suggest this action:
    Check your .Net framework is up to date, as I think CCC needs 2.0 to run.
    Set a Restore Point.
    Download the drivers again.
    Download and install Driver Cleaner or Driver Sweeper and install.
    Uninstall all Nvidia and ATI drivers and software, restarting in Safe Mode and using the driver cleaner each time to remove any debris left behind by the uninstall.
    Install the new driver suite.
    See if CCC is working yet;)

    OR you could:
    Glue some soft foam to a piece of stiff card and bend it into a 'V' and place this behind the system with the wide part of the 'V' towards the computer. A coarse 'open cell' foam is best and a top can be added as long as it does not interfere with other cooling. Presto! your own anecoic chamber! Yes, this works, I had the same noise problem with my X1900 XT and because my system is close to a wall, the sound bounced off and around the room.

    Using such large images is, indeed demanding on the RAM, so 8Gb might be a good idea, but check which you purchase, many have heatspreaders on which are so thick they block the adjacent slot when installed. Do not pay extra for clever cooling nor tight timings, they are only useful in heavily overclocked systems.
  15. coozie7 - thank you :)

    I've never used a driver cleaner before but this sounds like a good idea - the simple fact is, when I boot my system the noise of the fan is there instantly I press the power button until I shut down. So definately no - it does not run up and then back down.

    This seems to be the problem.

    I will undertake the actions you describe, my Vista Ultimate 64-bit is totally up to date with Net Framework 3.5 - is there some way I can check to make sure it's active ?

    And could you go through precisely the steps I need to take to uninstall all the ATI and Nvidia stuff using drive cleaner please - ie; do you uninstall Nvidia then boot into safe mode, then run Driver Cleaner, then reboot and do the same again for the ATI stuff ?

    Just do not want to mess up

    I will upgrade my ram to 8Gb in the near future to.

    Look forward to hearing some more


  16. My setup needed .Net framework 2.0 or higher, so you're alright there and AFAIK as long as it's installed it should be working.

    Yes, uninstall, when prompted restart but to Safe Mode, and use the driver cleaner software, then restart into normal Windows and repeat until all the ATI/Nvidia drivers and software are cleaned out.
    One point I forgot to mention: Exercise caution, these types of software are not infallible, so check every item they want to delete and deselect anything that looks wrong and if it offers an option to backup any Registry changes, of course, use it.
  17. If after everything you do still doesn't quite give out the quiteness you want I would check this out for sure.

    I did not have the exact model, but I had an Accelero S2 with the turbo module fans (looks to be the same in this case, except maybe quieter since the fans are bigger) and it was whisper quite under idle AND full load AND kept the card much much cooler than the stock. I currently have a 4870 and under idle its not that bad at all, under load however, it does kick up and is noticeable. This can be tiny bit game breaking if you play quiet/sound sensitive games like Left 4 Dead, or survival horrors. For the most part though you'll be submerged enough into the game where it fades away. I have yet to watch a movie yet, but I think I will soon.
  18. OK guys - have done everything you have advised re uninstalling CCC but this has not given me control over the Fan Speed.

    What gives here? That is unless I am on the minimum already in which case I'm going to RMA thius thing which didn't even ship with any cables/adaptors.

    Overclockers UK say there have been faulty batches which means sometimes these cards have not shipped with adaptors/cables and they have asked me to get them for myself via XFX. Sheesh !

    I like this card though but why the f*** is it so noisy ?

    Something is seriously wrong and it's not my setup

    roz :( :( :( :( :(
  19. I think there is something wrong with the card/fan controller on the card IMO. As far as what happened to me (this was a 4870 but shouldn't make that much of a difference) when I first installed the card, very first boot, it whoosed very loudly for a brief moment and calmed down. I got into windows, NO ATI/CCC drivers installed whatsoever and it was not like it sounded at all when it "calibrated" upon bootup. Also everytime I come out of sleep it "calibrates" the fan for a second. Seeing how you say it stays the same from beginning to end it must be defective in some way. I know its a stretch but do you have another computer with a sufficient PSU to try it out on that?
  20. Sorry to say I am inclined to agree with Bildo123.
    There comes a point in troubleshooting a new piece of hardware when you just have to admit it is, on balance of probability, faulty.
    You are within your rights to return the card anyway: It was not as described which, if I remember correctly falls under the Sale Of Goods Act.
    Return it.
  21. EDIT:
    Double post:(
  22. i have a 4890 xfx with built in hdmi and the pictur is ok the fan speed is ok but thesound is not delivered trough the hdmi (dvi to hdmi converter) to my hdtv what can i do??
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