I actually haven't got the card yet, but after looking at reviews, it was said to be at 60db when oc, yet it stays VERY cool (like 60c fully maxed crisis). I just don't see how, with the vaporx tec it has, that they made it so cool (temp) yet so loud.
When they make these cards they have to decide where they are going to set the card, low fan speed and quiet but a bit hotter than other cards or higher fan speed which makes for a louder but cooler card.
I realize we are talking about totally different cards here but my 5850 from XFX is whisper quiet and i can get a decent OC out of it before having to turn the fan up from its default setting.
I'm guessing the 6850 is a little hotter and so they wanted to set a higher but obviously louder fan profile.
As you have yet to but and as noise seems to be an issue you rate quite high may i suggest you look at a MSI Hawk card.