Gtx 460's are all rather short cards.
The stock center fan cards are all relatively quiet.
The few EE models Zotac, Evga , are louder. They are 'blower' type fans, they pull air in and since the card is basically shrouded , air is forced out the back vents out of the case. With the EE, I believe you hear, air turbulence more, by its design. The certain combination of length and rpm fan used in these cards, just turned out louder than other designs.
Its really user preference. I have 2 cyclones, and even at 100% they are fairly quiet.
I have 2 exhaust fans.
The EVGA External Exhaust version will be just a little louder than the non-EE, but still comfortably quiet. Chances are, you do not need the EE version unless you are placing two in SLI, then it would probably be the preferred configuration. All the same, the GTX 460's are quiet and cool, so the difference in case temperatures will not be critical. The EE will vent the hot air out of your case.
"Due to the fact that any blower-style fan has to work harder than one which is directly over the main heatsink (as in the one on the reference GTX 460) there are two things which distinguish this card: it has higher noise levels and temperatures than the stock card.
Let’s tackle the noise issues first. The main problem here is the fact that the fan EVGA used seems to have an exceptional amount of bearing noise. As the fan spins up to a mere 55-60%, the card will likely be noticeably louder than any 1200 to 1500 RPM case or heatsink fan you are using. Speeds don’t go above this (at least not in our testing) but it is more than obvious this isn’t the optimal fan for the job. However, this card is all about gaming and you’ll likely be doing that with some form of in-game sound turned up so we highly doubt this card will ever be loud enough to notice above a typical gaming sound level. It isn’t loud in the least, it just makes a plaintive whine that we don’t usually associate with the better blower style fans of this world."
"As you can see, the temperatures with an external exhaust do decrease but not by an overly significant amount. Does EVGA’s solution work? Well, the numbers back up the science but only you can determine if this is enough of a drop to warrant going with the increased noise and core temperature this setup brings." http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...