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 Post subject: Quietest GTX 1080 - Fan vs water
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 6:51 am 
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Hey everyone. I recently built a new quiet gaming rig with the corsair Q600 case and it's working great. I got the Gigabyte G1 gaming 1080 card as it was one of the first available, but I'm finding it slightly too loud under stress. I've got it to a happy medium where the case fans turn up with the increased heat the G1 produces and the G1 fans essentially increase to 45% to keep the card at 78 degrees C. The problem is that any overclocking is increasing the heat, so I'm stuck slightly undervolting the card to keep everything relatively quiet.

I'm thinking about getting a different card, either the MSI Gaming G1 which has 2 larger fans (and theoretically less noise per reviews at full load), or possibly the MSI SeaHawk which has its own radiator with water cooling and separate fan that I can control via my motherboard (Asus fan control).

I'm sure the SeaHawk will run cooler, but I don't want to increase the noise level at idle, and ideally would decrease the noise level at load. Thoughts on which would run quieter? And does anyone know if the fan on the SeaHawk radiator could be changed to something more quiet if needed?


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 Post subject: Re: Quietest GTX 1080 - Fan vs water
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 7:20 am 
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Any of the AIO styled cards like the EVGA or MSI will be have the GPU cooler under load, but you will have the blower styled noise and the pump noise. The fan i dont think it would be a big issue, you can change it, and besides the temps that i seen the GPU underload on those cards is low that i dont think you will need too much rpms.

Other alternatives is to go with a custom cooler, like Prolimatech MK26 and Artic Accelero IV, in my experience the MK26 drop the temps on my GTX980Ti (MSI twin frozr) about 5C over the stock cooler, and the Accerlero IV was more impressive on a GTX780 (reference cooler), the card never goes above 68C, while with the reference cooler it would reach 84C, both are really quiet, wisper quiet.

Another forum member already did a swap on the accelero, Nagi 1080 FE + aftermarket cooling, he got very nice results but was over reference. The cooler is very similar to the gigabyte, personally few years back i though Artic did their oem coolers, but not sure, but its not the same, this is a 3 slot cooler with a very big backpalte, at the end it becomes a 4x slot cooler (3 front 1 back).

I might also do an MK26 on my GTX1080Ti Gaming X, but not sure yet, i don't have it (maybe in two weeks).

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 Post subject: Re: Quietest GTX 1080 - Fan vs water
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 10:41 am 
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Location: Scandinavia
To the best of my knowledge, the best way to achieve the minimum noise is to remain with air-cooled conventional graphics cards. As you mentioned, the size of GPU fans indeed matters a lot. Even 1-2mm difference makes a substantial difference when it comes to GPU fans, thus silence-seekers prefer bigger GPU fans (e.g., MSI Gaming X/Z, Palit/Gainward Jetstream/Gamerock/Pheonix).

The other part of the equation which is important in equal measure is the size of heatsink. As far as I can gather from my experience, this part is actually more important than the size of the GPU fans.

If you live in North America, I would recommend Zotac GTX 1080 AMP Extreme. If you live in EU/Asia/Australia, go for Palit/Gainward cards (these cards are really famous in Far East Asia). These cards are proven to be the quietest mainly due to their huge heatsinks, occupying almost three PCIE slots.


Knaack wrote:
I'm thinking about getting a different card, either the MSI Gaming G1 which has 2 larger fans (and theoretically less noise per reviews at full load), or possibly the MSI SeaHawk which has its own radiator with water cooling and separate fan that I can control via my motherboard (Asus fan control)

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 Post subject: Re: Quietest GTX 1080 - Fan vs water
PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 2:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:46 pm
Posts: 96
I have very positive experience with an MK-26 cooler. It is huge, really, that's why it is so good. It was designed to handle 320W and kept my last 170W GPU perfectly cool under any load, including OC to the max.
If you take this route, you have to get the fans extra. I went with 2x120mm, which was fine for my needs, but it also can take 2x140mm.
Not very cheap, altogether, but selling your card and getting another one also burns some money.


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 Post subject: Re: Quietest GTX 1080 - Fan vs water
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 11:56 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2007 7:19 pm
Posts: 7
Thanks for everyone's opinion. Just wanted to give an update with my decision and results.

I ended up going with the Zotac 1080 Amp Extreme card (2.5 slot card/cooler) and sold my Gigabyte 1080 G1 gaming to a friend. First off, this card is huge! It completely dwarfs the G1.

I'm essentially running the Zotac at stock settings except a slight decrease in power limit to 93%. The card boosts to mid 2000s core clock, then stabilizes at 2000 clock for any extended session, as compared to about 1910s for the G1. I see maybe 2-4 more FPS on it than the G1 in an intensive game. This is compared to decreasing the power limit to 92% on the G1 and with a 50-75 MHz clock increase over the default overclock of the G1.

The following discussion is keeping the card at full load via benchmarking. I find that the temps are close to being the same, maybe slightly lower to 78C on the Zotac compared to essentially 80-81 on the G1. Motherboard temps are increased on Zotac, showing that its dissipating more heat than the G1. Fan speeds on the G1 maxed at 47-48% on the G1 to maintain the temp above (RPM around 2100, but this is from memory), and this was set as a custom curve specifically to allow for highest thermals without either causing throttling or being too loud. Fan speed is hovering at about the same percentage 47-48% on the Zotac (approx 1500-1550 rpm), and remains inaudible from my case fans.

There actually may be slightly more sound from my build with the Zotac given that the increased motherboard temp and heat dissipation has caused my case fans to speed up to compensate. I'm using the Corsair 600Q case with the inverted motherboard and an upper case fan, and while there is plenty of room for the card itself, I can't help to wonder if airflow is restricted with the larger card and possibly impairing cooling.

That being said, the overall noise character is much improved with less of a high pitched sound, and I can tolerate things better. I could probably modify the fan curve slightly on the Zotac, but it honestly isn't too far from what I would do with it (temp near 80s with nearly inaudible fan). At 55% fan speed, I can hear it over the case fans, but can lower my temps to 76-7 degrees with a 50 MHz overclock. Even at this speed, the character is much better, so I may eventually end up tweaking it. And keep in mind that it's July in Texas and over 100 degrees out, with ambient temps in the high 70s during the day when testing is taking place.

Anyway, this was just my experience with the cards. I'm happy in general with switching to the Zotac, but I'm not 100% sure it was worth the extra cost.


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 Post subject: Re: Quietest GTX 1080 - Fan vs water
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:35 am 
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Joined: Tue May 10, 2016 7:21 pm
Posts: 18
I'm curious about insights into the quietest GTX 1080.

My understanding was the MSI GTX 1080 is the quietest model. Sounds like the Zotac 1080 Amp Extreme is the quietest stock model.

I am intrigued by the Prolimatech Inc. PRO-MK-26 (or similar devices) and would be interested in hearing insights into how anyone made any GTX 1080 models even quieter.

One could replace the stock cooler on the MSI GTX 1080 with the MK26 and add 2 x 120mm Noctua NF-F12 -- they seems to be optimized for heatsinks. I assume it would plug into fan control for the stock cooler or extra fan headers?

Anyone try something like this and did it result in noise reduction under load and/or fanless operation under a heavier load? Does it still operate without fans for at least the same load range?

Would be nice to see silent pc review do such an analysis of the stock MSI GTX 1080, Zotac 1080, and modified versions with premium coolers.


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 Post subject: Re: Quietest GTX 1080 - Fan vs water
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 10:09 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 3529
Location: Guatemala
awitko wrote:
My understanding was the MSI GTX 1080 is the quietest model. Sounds like the Zotac 1080 Amp Extreme is the quietest stock model.
I think the zotac with 2.5 slot cooler has better dissipation from what i have seen on reviews, the MSI to me, that i owned an used for couple of weeks now its a very good option noise wise. Now more that that i have Gsync display, my temps on Overwatch never pass 65C, mantaning the fans into a very moderate noise level. That said i think the zotac might be able to keep the card slightly cooler meaning the fan will be kept at a lower level, for me the zotac is not an option the cards lenght is to big for my FT05, while the MSI is pefect, but this is something that you have to value for your case.

awitko wrote:
I am intrigued by the Prolimatech Inc. PRO-MK-26 (or similar devices) and would be interested in hearing insights into how anyone made any GTX 1080 models even quieter.

One could replace the stock cooler on the MSI GTX 1080 with the MK26 and add 2 x 120mm Noctua NF-F12 -- they seems to be optimized for heatsinks. I assume it would plug into fan control for the stock cooler or extra fan headers?
I have my doubts on the MK26, too much has to be tested for the following to be accurate, so take my comments with a grain of salt, but ill give you my POV now. When i had a SLI of Asus GTX970, the noise levels were unbearable, it was like a jet very loud and annoying, so i switch to 2x MSI GTX980 gaming, on low end games the setup was unnoticeable, games like WOW, LOL, DOTA2 was very nice experience noise wise, but games that push the cards a little more like overwatch was starting to become noticeable, so much that i decide to dump the SLI, on one card the GTX980 Gaming was not good enough for 4k Overwatch at 60fps, but a single card never reached 2k rpms on max load, so it was alright, not so noisy as the SLI setups, specially the Asus, but wasn't silent either, so i decided to put a Prolimatech MK26 black with 2 Prolimatech Ultra Sleek Vortex 140s on it, the card can manage the fans fine (not like reference cooler wierd PWM design), and overall its much quieter, even at full load i cant hear the card unless i put my head next to the pci openings, so the noise is great with that combo, where i have my doubts is on the cooling efficiency of the mk26, with overwatch i was hitting 84C easily, temp in which the boost of the card is lost, so the card practically boost itself till 84c, then it loses the boost and remains in that temp, never goes up, but i do lose some performance due to the temperature that it remains constantly.

When i upgraded to my GTX1080 Gaming X, i already had a MK26 waiting for it, now with thicker fans, the TY147A, i even mod them so they could fit as the vortex, but once i tested the msi cooler on overwatch, my temps were much lower, 65C is the max i get gaming, and the noise levels are low enough for my liking, so i decided not to install the mk26, or save it for the GTX1080Ti.

I do have some thoughts about the mk26, size wise is impressive, it should be able to cool any of today's cards very effectively, but this is not what i have experienced, i have even touch the heatsink while on load, and there are some spaces that its really hot, burning hot, so the heatsink does it job well moving the heat with the heatpipes, the problem that i see is two things.
1) The cooler might not like the horizontal orientation of the FT05
2) The fans are not capable to dissipate the heat that GTX980Ti is releasing, thus better air coolig is needed, thicker fans or better pressure.
3) I have my doubts into the painting of the mk26, i though it was an ionization of the aluminium, but to me, it seems more like paint, its not like lian li stuff that you can pass a cloth on it, when i passed a cloth on the mk26 black, the cloth had black paint on it, and this might be interfering with the heat dissipation.

I had a very good experience going aftermareket with Accelero IV (III was a mess), it has sustained a GTX780 below 70C no matter what, even on Furmark, its a cooler that really delivers, now the MK26 has the size to be better, but to what i have tested it doesn't perform as impressive, but as i said before, there are much more to test to be really conclusive about whats affecting the cooler. I still believe the mk26 should be the best cooler, but i do need to find the right combination to make this happen, im hopping with the TY147A the cooler will have 300 more rpms than the prolimatech and thicker fan.

Sadly for now, i wont do much, as im happy with how my MSI GTX1080 Gaming X is performing both in rendering and noise.

My recommendation is go with Zotac, it seems like a very good card, if not, the MSI to me is very good, to the point that im no longer using aftermarket coolers on it, either way, i think you cant go wrong with either.

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StreaMi - Intel i9 7940X + AsRock X299 Taichi + Asus GTX1080Ti Strix | WorkMi - AMD 1950X + AsRock X399 Taichi + MSI GTX1080
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