Noise Comparison Videos: Idle
Of course, it's all well and good to show you how each card performs acoustically. But it's even better to demonstrate through video, which you can actually hear.
We captured short clips of each card in the various workloads quantified on the previous page, and then mixed them with the audio recording from our freshly-calibrated high-end studio mic. The distance between the microphone and each graphics card was precisely 50 cm, positioned exactly perpendicular to the center of each board. Room temperature was held at a constant 22 degrees Celsius.
Noise at Idle
It’s particularly interesting to hear how loud each card is at idle, because that's what you're going to be listening to most often. PowerColor's Devil13 HD7990 exhibits some coil whine, even in this low-impact usage scenario. It would have fared much better without the squealing.
EVGA's GeForce GTX 690 is the clear winner. It’s barely audible in an open chassis, and you won't hear it at all in a closed case. This is how a well-built high-end graphics card should sound. HIS' 7970 X2 does alright, but PowerColor's Devil13 HD7990 irked us until we turned our case fans up loud enough to drown out the high-pitched tone.