Recently I bought a new gaming system which cost about €1500 in total. It's quite good except that it did make more noise than I had anticipated it would. the Noctua NH-D14 heatsink was fine, so was the power supply, and changing the case fans with Noctua ones wasn't all too difficult. Though the main problem was my GPU, an XFX Radeon HD6970. On idle it was no big deal, but during a session of Crysis 2 even my headphones were not enough to keep the noise from being annoying. I decided to go buy a lesser, quieter card by the name of MSI's GTX 560 Ti Hawk. The shop adviced it would be much quieter, but even after setting a custom fan profile, the fans ramp up to 65% at 85°C during The Witcher 2 for example. Up untill 50% fan speed (40% is minimum) it's bearable, up till 58% with headphones, but any higher it gets annoyingly loud, especially cause I want to live in the moment when playing an RPG.
What I'm looking for:
So I am looking for some quality GPU advice from a very informed community.
I have a €200 budget (275$).
IMPORTANT: I want it to be inaudible at idle, and only barely audible/not annoyingly loud under load, yet it has to be able to play current games on high settings (I bought the system to be able to play BF3).
The website I'd order my parts from is normally "www.alternate.be" (just use the first search bar on the site), but if you know a viable alternative that's fine too.
Some system specs:
-current GPU: MSI GTX 560 Ti Hawk
-PSU: Cooler Master Silent ProM 700W
-case: Cooler Master CM 690 Advanced II
-mobo: ASRock Z68 Extreme4
-monitor res: 1920x1080
Overclocking is optional, SLI/Crossfire only if necessary.
I did some research already into quiet GPU's.
The cards that I found to be presumable quiet under load are:
the XFX Radeon HD6870 Black edition Dual Fan
the MSI Radeon HD6850 Cyclone power Edition
In my old PC, I've got a GTX 260, which doesn't ramp up much at all when playing for example, The Witcher 2 (,sure the FPS isn't that high, but it still plays fluently). So I never thought GPU noise would be a big problem.
I wouldn't really know how to have my current GPU get watercooled, and the store doesn't sell watercooling for GPU's either. I also don't need a high-end GPU per se, a mid-range one is fine too, as long as it runs decently quiet when playing current gen games. My old GTX 260 can still do it, so I assume there's at least 1 GPU out there that has better performance and runs as quiet.
Still got the 6970, so I think I could go for the Accelero cooler. I've never actually replaced GPU fans, but I assume it shouldn't be too difficult. The GPU doesn't need to run 100% quiet, just not annoyingly loud (ie. headphones = no noise).
You guys seems to like the watercooling part an awful lot though, but I think the fact that my case coolers and fan CPU still make noise would mean the accelero fan would be adequate enough already. It would be kinda silly to spend 150$ more on something that is not audibly different, and I've noticed the accelero cooler does a great job at cooling anyway.