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Suggestions for new silent graphics card

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 26, 2011 10:11:14 AM

I'm looking for a new graphics card that's more or less silent under load. Last time I bought one, I used a 3rd party passive cooler, but I do not want the hassle this time around so I'm thinking of buying one of the customized offerings. Water based cooling is not an option.

These are the ones I think are good alternatives:
Gainward GeForce GTX 570 Phantom
MSI ATI Radeon HD 6950 Twin FrozR II
MSI GeForce GTX 560Ti OC Twin FrozR II
Asus Radeon HD 6870 DirectCU

If have any experience with these coolers(MSI Twin FrozR II, Gainward "GOOD Edition or Phantom, ASUS DirectCU), please reply with your opinions or thoughts. Other suggestions are of course welcome as well.

Thank you.
a b U Graphics card
January 26, 2011 10:29:54 AM

From what i can see, the Twin FrozR II is a really nice cooling system acoustically. You're always better off looking at standard fans rather than blower fans (the ones that send the air sideways, see reference gtx 580 for example) as they can really whine under load.

When you say more or less silent, are you talking as low decibels as possible or literally, everything is fanless so you get 0 db out of your build?
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January 26, 2011 12:36:17 PM

Griffolion said:
From what i can see, the Twin FrozR II is a really nice cooling system acoustically. You're always better off looking at standard fans rather than blower fans (the ones that send the air sideways, see reference gtx 580 for example) as they can really whine under load.

When you say more or less silent, are you talking as low decibels as possible or literally, everything is fanless so you get 0 db out of your build?

As low decibels as possible, not literally silent. If it's the same decibels under load, as a normal stock idle, It's good enough.
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a b U Graphics card
January 26, 2011 12:44:45 PM

gorguss said:
As low decibels as possible, not literally silent. If it's the same decibels under load, as a normal stock idle, It's good enough.


Well you won't get that a great deal because more heat is generated under load, that's an inevitability.

But the best way to check is to look at the GTX 580/570 comparison charts on Toms and look at how loud they are. There should be some of the ones you listed on there.

I'm not big on decibels etc because it doesn't massively bother me as when i am gaming i have my headphones on so i dont hear the card spin up.
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January 26, 2011 12:57:43 PM

Griffolion said:
Well you won't get that a great deal because more heat is generated under load, that's an inevitability.

But the best way to check is to look at the GTX 580/570 comparison charts on Toms and look at how loud they are. There should be some of the ones you listed on there.

I'm not big on decibels etc because it doesn't massively bother me as when i am gaming i have my headphones on so i dont hear the card spin up.

I use headphones as well. But my girlfriend, who is sitting beside me on the same desk working on photographies, will not be amused if I bring a stock GTX 580 into the house.

I was thinking that if I "underclock" the GPU, which often comes overclocked when customized, I could get temperatures that wouldn't make the fans on the Twin Frozr to spin up as much. My old graphics card HD 4870 1GB had stock cooler, and I slapped a Thermalright passive cooler on it, with a 120mm fan, and it was close to silent.

So what you are saying, is that I will get a less noisy system with customized cooling solution, but not the extent that it can compare to stock idle which is around 40 dB(?)?
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a b U Graphics card
January 26, 2011 1:05:11 PM

A reference GTX 580 is actually significantly quieter than the 480 or comparable ATI cards due to its revised thermal design. It is about 10db lower than previous reference coolers which is (according to the human ear) half the loudness. Subjective opinions i've read have said that even under heavy load, the GTX 580 is really quiet at reference. So if MSI has used their own cooling system to supposedly improve on that, you can expect the Twin FrozR II to be very very quiet.

No need to under clock at all.
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January 26, 2011 1:59:22 PM

Best answer selected by gorguss.
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a b U Graphics card
January 26, 2011 2:03:02 PM

Thanks for the BA.

Just as a side note, you can use programs such as MSI Afterburner to manually set the fan speed gradient of the graphics card, so you can make a fan profile that's not very aggressive to keep it quiet. This isn't very advisable because you'll reduce the amount of heat being dissipated under load which may cause harm to the card itself, however it is doable if you need to.
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a c 271 U Graphics card
January 26, 2011 5:24:59 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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