How much coil whine do you consider acceptable?

I don't know if theres an industry standard for coil whine deciding if a card is working or damaged, but how much coil whine does it take for you to return a card? Asking since I've only bought 2 cards ever, and I've returned both of them for coil whine, don't know if I'm being too picky or not but I could hear the first (7850) when half way across the room when the sound on whatever I was playing was muted, and on the second (7950) it was about as loud but whined even at idle, although very quietly. Personally I don't see the point in buying an expensive card with a beastly silent cooler if all you'll ever hear is coil whine, but maybe thats just because of my inexperience.

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More about coil whine acceptable
  1. As long as the sound can't be heard when you move your ear away from the card.
  2. If I can't hear it with my headset on its fine.. Or if I can't hear it over my fans its fine.

    Basically if I can't hear it I don't care... So I guess the answer to your question would be "its not acceptable if I can hear it"
  3. Interesting. How common is it? Bad luck to have two in a row with coil whine, or do you just get good and bad ones? I different build has a 6850 in it (I suppose that makes 3 GPU's then) and stressed that can be heard whining with the case door off and my ear right over it. I was pretty annoyed when I got two considerably more expensive cards making it way louder.
  4. Almost every card has it, just in varying levels. Some people are more susceptible to the frequency than others also.

    As long as I cant hear it without trying to hear it, thats fine with me.
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