There are three things that PC enthusiasts will pay extra money for: Performance, features - and silence. For those of us on a modest budget, having all three is often out of reach. Forced to pick two out of the three, this writer has usually opted for performance and features over silence. In the never-ending quest for higher overclocking, my PC is slowly but consistently getting louder while the fans keep adding up. With four standard case fans in addition to the video card and power supply fans, my PC makes my office sound more like a jet engine than a place in which I can concentrate.
Meanwhile, the PC world seems to have been waking up to the benefits of silence in the past few years. With computer-based media centers moving out of the office and into the living room, silent components are becoming more and more common and affordable. Even die-hard enthusiasts no longer consider silence an option, but an integral part in their never-ending quest to build great machines.
Easily one of the loudest components of any high-performance PC is the video card, of course. While PC components in general have gotten quieter over the years, video cards have bucked the trend somewhat. In order to cope with rapidly advancing graphics processor technology, coolers are pushing more air, and to do that, they become louder.
So is the performance-minded enthusiast forced to trade acceptable video card performance and features for high levels of noise? A handful of manufacturers who
dedicated to the pursuit of silence are working hard to make sure that this is not the case. One such manufacturer is Gigabyte, and their newest product to address this need is the Gigabyte NX76T, also known as the Geforce 7600 GT with Silent-Pipe II Technology.