Noise (Video Comparison)
As we've done in past graphics card reviews, we measured the noise level of each card from 50 cm away in the open case. The video’s audio track comes straight from our measurement device. The video was shot with a Sony NEX5, and the audio track was mixed in later. If you hear someone sniff, that’s the author, who was suffering from a cold at the time.
Full Load: GPGPU
The noise levels under full load are what you would expect after looking at the temperatures on the previous page. AMD's FirePro W8000 comes out ahead with 50.4 dB(A), followed by the W9000 with 53.2 dB(A).
The Nvidia Quadro 6000 is the clear loser here, cranking out 58.8 dB(A). At almost 60 dB(A), this is enough noise to make you wonder if you’re simulating a typhoon.
Compared to AMD’s consumer cards, the workstation models sport slighter better cooling at lower noise levels. This is something that should be expected for what the company is charging.
To be fair, we decided to do another run with AutoCAD 2013 and Cadalyst 2D, which should be a bit more indicative of how the cards will usually be used and sound.
Moderate Load: AutoCAD 2013
All of the cards make less noise under a moderate load, letting workstation users everywhere breathe a sigh of relief. The contenders all fall fairly close to each other, with the Quadro 6000 coming out on top with 31.2 dB(A), followed by the AMD FirePro W8000 with 31.8 dB(A) and the W9000 with 31.9 dB(A). The two FirePro cards are practically indistinguishable. Have a look (and a listen):
One disadvantage of the Nvidia Quadro 6000’s fan profile is that it pays for its low noise level with high temperatures. It tops 50 degrees Celsius under moderate load. AMD’s two FirePro W-series cards maintain between 38-40 degrees Celsius.