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HD5850 noise reduction idea, any thoughts?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 5, 2010 6:36:57 PM

By the looks of it, the Sapphire Vapor-X HD5850 is one of the only high end graphics cards (aside from mabie the Vapor-X 5870) that are more or less considered "quiet". Despite this, reviews say they have a much lower idle and load temp than other 5850 cards.

A thread on silentpcreview says that for this particular card, you can't lower the fan speed past 33% or so, additionally, it's got very good load temps @ ~ 60-65C. It seems to me that for both idle and load cases, if I could forcibly lower the fan speed, I could make this card even quieter while maintaining temps that are comparable to other 5850s.

Also, the card comes overclocked, I could reset this overclock to stock levels and get those temps lower still.

I found out that the fan on this card has a 3-pin connector - just like my Noctua cpu heatsink - which conveniently came with a few LNAs (low noise adapters - which are merely resistors for the fan). My plan is to use one of these to force the fan speed lower.

I've got a 9800GX2 that idles at 74 and powers away at nearly 100c @ load. I had an EN7950GT that reached 105c @ load. Neither was clocked or modded, so my impression is that gpus can safely take much more than the 65 that Vapor-X cards are known for.

Am I correct in assuming this? Are NVidia gpus built to take the heat, or are they just inefficient?

What do you think of this idea? Is it recklessly unsafe?

Can I swap in a fan adapter for a Vapor-X 5850 without removing the cover and thus voiding the warranty?
a c 125 U Graphics card
August 5, 2010 6:49:19 PM

33% on a stock HD5850 cooler is very quiet so I would only imagine that 33% fan speed on a vapor X cooler would be near silent, I don't think there's any need to mod it or underclock it.
a c 172 U Graphics card
August 5, 2010 7:06:23 PM

If you want silent go liquid. Stock coolers are far far far from quite. So I recommend trying after market but finding the right cooler can be expensive and difficult. At least the 5850 isn't as loud as my x1900xt or picky as my 3870. The only two cards that I can say that are idiot proof that I have that are modded are my 9800gt 1gb (55nm) with after market cooling as well my 3DFX voodoo 5500.

Either than that you will need to clean your card once a month to two months. Modern coolers are a pain in the ass to clean.
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a b U Graphics card
August 5, 2010 7:21:32 PM

yea I agree, if you can hear the fan on the Sapphire Vapor-X 5850 at 33% then there is something definitely wrong.

If you want to lower your fan speed at idle or load all you need to do is create a fan curve with MSI's Afterburner. Example :



as you can see @ idle the fan speed is around 31/32% and the temp hovers around 35c. If you want a lower fan speed setting at idle all your need to do is adjust the curve to your desired level.
August 6, 2010 2:26:42 PM

Thanks, but...

Quote:
if you can hear the fan on the Sapphire Vapor-X 5850 at 33% then there is something definitely wrong


Quote:
Stock coolers are far far far from quite.


A little contradiction there. But neither statement is quite true. Not all stock coolers are loud and if I can hear the fan at 33%, that merely means I have built my rig well enough such that the gpu fan has become the new noise bottleneck.

I would gladly go with water cooling, however it using it would certainly void the warranty on the card. Not only this, but it's also quite rare where I am.

How about another question... what kind of temps can ATI gpus safely take? Or alternately, at what temps do ATI gpus clock down?

a b U Graphics card
August 6, 2010 3:44:21 PM

tom thumb said:
Thanks, but...

Quote:
if you can hear the fan on the Sapphire Vapor-X 5850 at 33% then there is something definitely wrong


Quote:
Stock coolers are far far far from quite.


A little contradiction there. But neither statement is quite true. Not all stock coolers are loud and if I can hear the fan at 33%, that merely means I have built my rig well enough such that the gpu fan has become the new noise bottleneck.

I would gladly go with water cooling, however it using it would certainly void the warranty on the card. Not only this, but it's also quite rare where I am.

How about another question... what kind of temps can ATI gpus safely take? Or alternately, at what temps do ATI gpus clock down?


not a contradiction, in other words the fan on a non-reference card is normally quieter than the fan on a reference version. I use a non-reference Asus 5850 and the fan is silent unless it goes past 65/70%.

Don't let the card hit 90c, try keeping it under 80c at all times to preserve its lifespan. The card normally throttles down after it goes over 100c.
a c 125 U Graphics card
August 6, 2010 4:05:17 PM

I have reference model 5850, and the stock fans get super loud at around 40% or more, and when gaming the fans could get up to 50 or 60% to keep the temps in the 60s. Many non reference cards, like the Vapor-X or the Twin Frozr II or the Direct CU are all better than stock cooling, and are all much quieter. It's pretty easy to look up some benchmarks comparing noise, so you can pick the most silent.

I just recently bought a pair of Scythe Setsugen VGA coolers. Overall, they can't quite cool as well as the stock cooler but that's mostly because they're for silence moreso than performance, and given my space restrictions I couldn't put a great big cooler on. Anyway, the fans can go up to 2000rpm on these, but under 1500rpm they are whisper quiet. And while gaming my 5850s are like 60C. Burn testing can get them up to about 77C. I also had to custom mod one of the VRM sinks, because the "proper" one that fit was very very thin. I ended up taking the copper spacer that you can put on the GPU, and bending the end slightly, and then using thermal adhesive (Arctic Silver) to stick a much larger sink onto the copper thing. So now the VRMs are all the same temps and yeah, it's way better. And quiet.
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