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Old July 2, 2010, 09:27 AM
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Default How loud is it?[480gtx]

I am still considering going back to Nvidia but I am concerned about noise levels. Almost all that you read talks about high noise. Just how much louder can they be compared to a similar Radeon card? I'm not too worried about power consumption, but noise is a whole nother issue. Anyone out there that could explain it in laymen terms?I don't know about deciblel levels etc. but I know how loud an electric shaver is compared to a hair dryer.Know what I mean? Thanks.
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Old July 2, 2010, 10:09 AM
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My GTX 470 is unbearably loud over 70% fan speed. (uses the same Delta fan as the 480 IIRC, could be wrong) It's a good bit louder than a hair dryer at 80%+, 50%-60% is like a quiet hair dryer on its lowest setting or a loud electric shaver.
Noise is fairly bearable below 50%, for most people it will be inaudible at ~40%. The fan is locked at 34% or something like that, but around there it's pretty much silent.

The stock fan profile is actually pretty quiet, the fan doesn't really ramp up until the card gets well over 80c, however the temps get scary for the faint of heart. My 470 pushes 102c on Furmark no problem. (with the stock fan profile after 10 min)
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Old July 2, 2010, 10:35 AM
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Well it is louder than most other GPU's IF you don't have good air flow. Air flow is very important if you want to keep it quiet. Although I find the 480 at 100% is not as annoying as the 5850 I have when it is at a high fan speed.
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Old July 2, 2010, 10:37 AM
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You're running dual 5970's... essentially a Quad-Fire system. What could the green team possibly offer you!? Not a personal attack against nVidia or anything, but you had to have just bought that setup, and now you're looking at spending how much money to replace it with an nVidia equivalent!? You must have just won the lottery or something...
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Old July 2, 2010, 10:42 AM
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Wow! my two 5970s hit 80c plus when gaming and the card fans are the least noisy of all other fans in my computer. My PCI fan drowns out most other sounds.Overall though,I can hardly hear the video fans at all. I think I'm happier now.I still have a thing for Nvidia but that level of noise is a no go for me.[I THINK]
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Old July 2, 2010, 10:55 AM
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slik: when your pc boots and it flairs the fan?, the nvidia fan is maybe 1/3 or 1/2 of that volume on full blast, with my 2 sli. You cant hear it at all with headphones, without headphones its there but it doesnt really bother me with speakers. May be more noticeable with someone with grilled sidepanels, but since our area 51 doesnt have that, most sound is put out the rear, which is away from you.
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Old July 3, 2010, 05:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slik View Post
Wow! my two 5970s hit 80c plus when gaming and the card fans are the least noisy of all other fans in my computer. My PCI fan drowns out most other sounds.Overall though,I can hardly hear the video fans at all. I think I'm happier now.I still have a thing for Nvidia but that level of noise is a no go for me.[I THINK]
You should be pretty familiar with how loud GTX480s are, because 5970s are about the same:

The Damage Report - The Tech Report

NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 465: Cheaper Isn?t Always Better - AnandTech :: Your Source for Hardware Analysis and News

/images/video/geforce-gtx-480/39_dnoise_big(xbt).png

Actually, your two 5970s should be pretty equivalent on power, heat and noise to two 480s, and due to the diminishing returns of scaling above two GPUs (any brand) and NVIDIA's much improved scaling on the Fermi series, you likely wouldn't know the difference except for games that aren't CF friendly.

You'd gain all th NVIDIA specific features, so for you I'd say that's what your question boils down to: do you want any of the NVIDIA specific features enough to change cards, because you already have that level of performance. (and more in some games)
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Old July 3, 2010, 06:32 AM
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I think it all boils down to the fact that I just don't know what the hell I want. The fans in my video cards are very quiet compared to the other fan noises in my rig.I'm not sure which fan is the one that's loud. It is either the PCI or Hard drive fan that revs up like crazy and at first,I thought it was the video card fans.Over all,my system is excellent. It's the noise I am hearing that drives me nuts.I thought going back to Nvidia would solve some of the noise issues but it appears I'm O.K. with what I have. What about you Technokat, Which of your fans are very noisy ones? Maybe I have a faulty fan or maybe it's still a problem with the Alienware Command centre. Anyone? Technokat? By the way, I don't have money to burn,it's when I spend over 5 grand I expect the absolute best of everything.
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Last edited by Slik; July 3, 2010 at 06:36 AM. Reason: Additional info.
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Old July 3, 2010, 07:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slik View Post
I think it all boils down to the fact that I just don't know what the hell I want. The fans in my video cards are very quiet compared to the other fan noises in my rig.I'm not sure which fan is the one that's loud. It is either the PCI or Hard drive fan that revs up like crazy and at first,I thought it was the video card fans.Over all,my system is excellent. It's the noise I am hearing that drives me nuts.I thought going back to Nvidia would solve some of the noise issues but it appears I'm O.K. with what I have. What about you Technokat, Which of your fans are very noisy ones? Maybe I have a faulty fan or maybe it's still a problem with the Alienware Command centre. Anyone? Technokat? By the way, I don't have money to burn,it's when I spend over 5 grand I expect the absolute best of everything.
If noise is your primary concern, you should be watercooling your video as high end video card rigs are going to be the loudest thing in your case.

If "I want the best" is your concern, you should have 3 way GTX480 SLi with 3 projectors running 3d Vision Surround, or maybe two more 3008s for NVIDIA Surround.

I have a 3007WFP-HC with GTX295 SLi, and 3 X 2233RZs with GTX480 SLi, and I much prefer the three 22" monitors to the single 30". I just finished an hour of AVP3 at 50X14, and that is the stuff for immersion.

You can do the same with your 5970s, but you can't do 3d Surround, which is a lot of fun on the titles that are playable. (e.g. Just Cause 2, Half Life 2, Left for Dead)

"Best" is a matter of perspective- I used to think my 3007 was the "best" until I saw 3d Vision. Then my 3007 literally sat unused next to the 22" 3d Vision monitor for almost a year.

If you want to stay with the 5970s, I recommend you try 3 panel Eye Finity (not 6) as it is pretty great. (but be aware ATi cards don't scale well with Eyefinity for some reason)
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Old July 3, 2010, 08:31 AM
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I have determined that the video cards are not causung the noise. It appears to be either the PCI fan or the Hard Drive fan. As soon as I start a game,one of those fans gears up full bore.I can't isolate the guilty hardware by simply listening. Right now,the noise is from the front of the computer. I hope another Dell support call is not my next move. All they ever want to do is replace parts or indeed the whole computer. That in itself is not a problem as they usually upgrade when they replace the whole rig.The problem with that is unboxing and reboxing etc. These things are VERY heavy and all the work involved may not be worth the upgrade. I'm pretty sure another Alienware owner will help me properly identify where my noise is from and only then will I call Dell. If I can tell them where a problem is,there is less likelyhood that I go through hours of 'Going through the motions' if you know what I mean. Thanks all and take care.
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