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 Post subject: Recommendations for quietest GTX 570 (or even 560 or 470)
PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 3:23 pm 
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I'm building a quiet rig and have been selecting components based on their silent operation or favorable noise signature. The last piece of the puzzle is the GPU. I'd like a GTX 570, but would settle for a good 560 or even a 470 if it was super quiet.

1) Are there any passively cooled products to consider (or do these modern GPUs use so many Watts and give off too much heat to make passive cooling impractical/impossible)?

2) If I have to get an air-cooled GPU, which will be the quietest for 2D use only (I do a lot of Photoshop and won't be gaming on this PC, so I'll probably never push this card to full load... it may however get warm even in 2D use because I plan to throttle back all of the case fans and CPU fans to silent profiles). So I worry that if I look at 2D "idle" noise measurements alone that it won't reflect reality if the case heat causes my GPU fans to increase RPM.

The cards I have been looking at so far include:

    ASUS ENGTX570 DCII/2DIS/1280MD5 GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit
    Galaxy 58NLH5HS3PXZ GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit
    SPARKLE Calibre X570 GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit
    MSI N570GTX Twin Frozr III PE/OC GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit
    MSI N560GTX-Ti Hawk GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit

Which is quietest? Which do you recommend? Are there any glaring omissions on this list? I also read on here about a slick Gainward, but it only seems to be available overseas.

I do not want to purchase and install an aftermarket cooler to my GPU, looking for off-the-shelf turn-key solutions only. Please do not suggest an ATI/AMD card because I want the CUDA support built into the nvidia cards for Adobe.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for quietest GTX 570 (or even 560 or 470
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 6:02 am 
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What really disapointed me in Nvidia cards was the minimum fanspeed of 40% in MSI Afterburner. Afterburner is an essential tool to overclock and silence your cards.

Now you can edit the bios and go through that hassle, but personally i steer clear of doing that.

Furthermore i was appalled by the idle noise and temp of the Asus Direct CUII (even at fan 20% with Asus card tools) and the Gigabyte Windforce 3x (both 580GTX). When gaming it was even worse. Build quality of the Gigabyte was horrible btw. So much different from their excellent mobo's.

Now I own a MSI 6870 Hawk and I can lower fanspeed to 10%. I love it, silent till fanspeed of 39% in a non dampened Lian Li case. I dont own a second one yet but I think going dual silent medium is way better than opting for a single high end card. The heat is just too much to blow away with 2 or 3 small fans. Better is to divide that heat over 2 cards, and let your casefans do a little more work.

So if I had to pick something from your list I would get the 560ti Hawk and SLI it when needed. Or better, go the ATI way and do that with 6870's (Hawk preferably).

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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for quietest GTX 570 (or even 560 or 470
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:52 am 
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Hi, there are a couple of Gigabyte GTX560 Ti that night be worth a look:
GTX 560 Ti OC
GTX 560 Ti Super Over Clock

Supposedly the fans on the OC model are reasonably quiet, as is twin 100mm fans on sizable quad heat-pipe cooler I can believe it.
The SOC model cooler looks less good to me but... its clocked so hard it has similar performance to GTX 570.

I don't know if these would be turn-key solutions or need some software tweak to keep fan speeds down or BIOS fan speed mods or even fan replacement but don't think would need to go as far changing the cooler.
The work my poor GTX260 has had is just silly... (Replaced the cooler, replaced the fans on the replacement cooler, added extra heatsinks for the RAM, NVIO chip and VRMs and then modded the BIOS with higher clocks and lower fan speeds!) ...recommend avoid those lengths!
Regards, Seb

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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for quietest GTX 570 (or even 560 or 470
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:54 am 
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Hmm, thanks for the feedback so far. If I had to choose among the GTX 570 models, which is quietest? I understand that a 560 will make less noise and heat, but I wonder if I'll miss the additional memory and CUDA cores of the 570 in Adobe CS 5.5.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for quietest GTX 570 (or even 560 or 470
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:08 am 
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SebRad wrote:
Hi, there are a couple of Gigabyte GTX560 Ti that night be worth a look:
GTX 560 Ti OC

I (somewhat hesitantly) bought this model a couple months ago for a build. It lives in a dampened Lian Li and I don't really hear it even when running games (Portal 2 and Mass Effect 2, probably being the most intense its seen so far). The only other sources of noise are a pair of Noiseblockers in front (running at ~700rpm) and one in back (~660rpm) and an X-650 (0rpm). While the card didn't look impressive, I can't really complain at all about the noise levels.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for quietest GTX 570 (or even 560 or 470
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:13 am 
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I would go with either,

Quote:
Galaxy 58NLH5HS3PXZ GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit
SPARKLE Calibre X570 GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit


Both use the Artic Cooling 3 fan setup, should be better than the stock, although i doubt it will be silent, there are options like mentioned above to use msi afterburner or flash the bios so you tamper with the fans speeds if you find the default setting unacceptable.

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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for quietest GTX 570 (or even 560 or 470
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:14 pm 
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True, you can also buy a Sparkle 580.

If you dont, first, flash the bios, and see what happened (check my review), if its still loud, you can change the fan buy the Arctic Cooler.

But if you have the money, buy a Sparkle 570 or 580, and you will probably have to flash the bios also to unlock completly the fan speed, somebody did a review about this card on the forum.

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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for quietest GTX 570 (or even 560 or 470
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:56 pm 
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BMWBig6 wrote:
If I had to choose among the GTX 570 models, which is quietest?


The Gainward Phantom GTX 570, which is reckoned by reviewers to be of the quietest graphics cards on the market. Owners of the card here on SPCR have reported the same.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for quietest GTX 570 (or even 560 or 470
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 2:58 pm 
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Can't quote me on it but from my research of galaxy and sparkle the galaxy comes with a value of 15% fan minimum on their 580 and the sparkle I personally know has a 40% minimum. I modded my sparkle 580 (really easy once you flash a usb stick with dos) to 0% minimum. 0% value appears to ramp the fans up to 100% but anything around 7-12% turns the fans right off, with a single one still running. I personally run my 580 @ 3% fan speed on idle (memory chips on the 580 run pretty cool) so that it runs passively. This might be an extreme example but it works and stays under 50c in my basement most of the time which is when it ramps the fans up to 900 rpm. 900 rpm on the accelero is very quiet in my opinion and is probably all you'd ever need to run the accelero xtreme plus at even under fully synthetic load. I run my card up to 20% once it hits 60 degrees and it rarely rarely ramps up to 70c (and 30%) unless i'm doing extended session of gaming.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for quietest GTX 570 (or even 560 or 470
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:38 pm 
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lodestar wrote:
BMWBig6 wrote:
If I had to choose among the GTX 570 models, which is quietest?


The Gainward Phantom GTX 570, which is reckoned by reviewers to be of the quietest graphics cards on the market. Owners of the card here on SPCR have reported the same.


Where can one buy one of these in the U.S.? I can only find this from retailers overseas.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for quietest GTX 570 (or even 560 or 470
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:07 pm 
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Yes, Gainward/Palit sell their Palit products in North America but the Gainward line is only sold in in Europe. Next choice I would say is any card fitted with the three fan Arctic Accelero Extreme cooler, but models such as the Sparkle X570 Calibre seem to be in short supply. The Gigabyte GIGABYTE GV-N570OC-13I Rev2.0 GeForce GTX 570 from sources such as Newegg http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125384&cm_re=gtx_570-_-14-125-384-_-Product might be worth considering. The issue with gaming-oriented cards like this is that they are primarily designed for gamers who typically buy a factory overclocked card, partly to get a high performance cooler and partly to get a binned GPU, and then overclock it even further. So any three fan cooler is primarily aimed at containing the GPU and VRM temps that result. At the same time a multiple fan cooler ought to be reasonably quiet at idle and lower loads, but maybe only with the amount of airflow normally associated with gaming cases. It is possible to trade lower fan speeds for higher GPU temps with software such as MSI AfterBurner. If this is not sufficient the only solution is a BIOS edit. From what I have seen of nVidia 5xx cards, the only significant item that can be changed via a BIOS edit is the minimum fan speed, but with a three fan cooler there should be scope to drop this without elevating temperatures too much.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for quietest GTX 570 (or even 560 or 470
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:48 am 
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systemlayers wrote:
Can't quote me on it but from my research of galaxy and sparkle the galaxy comes with a value of 15% fan minimum on their 580 and the sparkle I personally know has a 40% minimum. I modded my sparkle 580 (really easy once you flash a usb stick with dos) to 0% minimum. 0% value appears to ramp the fans up to 100% but anything around 7-12% turns the fans right off, with a single one still running. I personally run my 580 @ 3% fan speed on idle (memory chips on the 580 run pretty cool) so that it runs passively. This might be an extreme example but it works and stays under 50c in my basement most of the time which is when it ramps the fans up to 900 rpm. 900 rpm on the accelero is very quiet in my opinion and is probably all you'd ever need to run the accelero xtreme plus at even under fully synthetic load. I run my card up to 20% once it hits 60 degrees and it rarely rarely ramps up to 70c (and 30%) unless i'm doing extended session of gaming.


You said everything man, if i have to upgrade my 460, i will obv buy a Sparkle an flash the bios.

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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for quietest GTX 570 (or even 560 or 470
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:40 am 
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If all you need the Video card for is Photoshop and 2D applications, why the push for a $300+ solution? Adobe uses the video card to accelerate display functions (zoom, rotate, etc) - not to accelerate processing. This works for cuda or open g/l, so any low end power GPU will work. Just get something that uses video speed memory - and not a stripped down thing. Use the $200 savings on a more RAM or an SSD :)

Less thermal load to worry about = quieter cooling.

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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for quietest GTX 570 (or even 560 or 470
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:30 am 
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CA_Steve wrote:
If all you need the Video card for is Photoshop and 2D applications, why the push for a $300+ solution? Adobe uses the video card to accelerate display functions (zoom, rotate, etc) - not to accelerate processing. This works for cuda or open g/l, so any low end power GPU will work. Just get something that uses video speed memory - and not a stripped down thing. Use the $200 savings on a more RAM or an SSD :)

Less thermal load to worry about = quieter cooling.


Can you recommend a model? I looked at a few older passive cards, but they were not on Adobe's officially supported list not did they support the latest direct x and other technologies.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for quietest GTX 570 (or even 560 or 470
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:51 am 
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BMWBig6 wrote:
CA_Steve wrote:
If all you need the Video card for is Photoshop and 2D applications, why the push for a $300+ solution? Adobe uses the video card to accelerate display functions (zoom, rotate, etc) - not to accelerate processing. This works for cuda or open g/l, so any low end power GPU will work. Just get something that uses video speed memory - and not a stripped down thing. Use the $200 savings on a more RAM or an SSD :)

Less thermal load to worry about = quieter cooling.


Can you recommend a model? I looked at a few older passive cards, but they were not on Adobe's officially supported list not did they support the latest direct x and other technologies.


Im not sure as i havent tried this card, so cross check is supported by Adobe or that you will gain something out of it since its only ddr3 and low end gpu, Galaxy 52GGS4HX9DTX GeForce GT 520 Passive or ASUS ENGT520 Silent/DI/1GD3

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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for quietest GTX 570 (or even 560 or 470
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 12:15 pm 
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Abula wrote:
BMWBig6 wrote:
CA_Steve wrote:
If all you need the Video card for is Photoshop and 2D applications, why the push for a $300+ solution? Adobe uses the video card to accelerate display functions (zoom, rotate, etc) - not to accelerate processing. This works for cuda or open g/l, so any low end power GPU will work. Just get something that uses video speed memory - and not a stripped down thing. Use the $200 savings on a more RAM or an SSD :)

Less thermal load to worry about = quieter cooling.


Can you recommend a model? I looked at a few older passive cards, but they were not on Adobe's officially supported list not did they support the latest direct x and other technologies.


Im not sure as i havent tried this card, so cross check is supported by Adobe or that you will gain something out of it since its only ddr3 and low end gpu, Galaxy 52GGS4HX9DTX GeForce GT 520 Passive or ASUS ENGT520 Silent/DI/1GD3


Ah, I forgot to mention I need dual DVI out for multiple monitors. This is a pretty common feature on the mainstream cards now


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for quietest GTX 570 (or even 560 or 470
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 12:28 pm 
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Given that you don't need out and out power, and want something primarily for CUDA I would have thought that the Gigabyte GTX 550 Ti OC would have been a reasonable proposition http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125367&Tpk=gigabyte%20gtx%20550%20ti. That single 100mm fan on a card of that power should be pretty quiet, some reviewers say inaudible at both idle and load. Has the two DVI outputs you need, and the reviews on NewEgg seem positive enough as far as noise goes. Like the 450, the 550 is probably under-powered as a gaming card unless users stick to lower resolutions (1680 x 1050 max) and reduce the settings in the more demanding games. But as you don't want it for games this is probably unimportant.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for quietest GTX 570 (or even 560 or 470
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:36 pm 
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Yeah - that'd work. Or the MSI Cyclone. You can use MSI's Afterburner utility to mess with the fan profile.

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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for quietest GTX 570 (or even 560 or 470
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:50 am 
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lodestar wrote:
Given that you don't need out and out power, and want something primarily for CUDA I would have thought that the Gigabyte GTX 550 Ti OC would have been a reasonable proposition http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125367&Tpk=gigabyte%20gtx%20550%20ti. That single 100mm fan on a card of that power should be pretty quiet, some reviewers say inaudible at both idle and load. Has the two DVI outputs you need, and the reviews on NewEgg seem positive enough as far as noise goes. Like the 450, the 550 is probably under-powered as a gaming card unless users stick to lower resolutions (1680 x 1050 max) and reduce the settings in the more demanding games. But as you don't want it for games this is probably unimportant.


Hmm, this looks like an interesting choice that may offer only what I need. My only reservations about this 550 Ti is that is has less memory and significantly slower memory bus speed (192-bit vs. the GTX 570's 320-bit). Do you think I'll notice that in real life Photoshopping? 320-bit represents a 54% improvement in theoretical memory bandwidth. And I've always read that Adobe generally loves to use whatever GPU memory is available and to max that out because once it exceeds that amount it starts to lose efficiency by using more scratch disk, etc.

The 560 CA_Steve suggested strikes more of a middle ground, but it looks like the Cyclone's reviews say that it's a noisy card even with MSI Afterburner software tweaking and BIOS changes may be necessary to reduce minimum fan speed below 40%.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for quietest GTX 570 (or even 560 or 470
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:00 am 
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Adobe I note has a list of certified graphics cards which includes the GTX 570 and 580 but not the other cards that have been mentioned http://www.adobe.com/products/premiere/tech-specs.html. Although it might be possible to use another card by unlocking the Adobe configuration file in some way, I suspect that this limits your choice to at least the GTX 570. The quietest GTX 570 is likely to be the Sparkle GTX 570 which uses the Arctic Xtreme Accelero Plus cooler, from sources such as this one http://www.amazon.com/Sparkle-GeForce-PCI-Express-MiniHDMI-Graphics/dp/B004SGZH46/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1308574418&sr=1-2. Like any cooler based on PWM fans, the fan rpm will be influenced by case airflow but that is going to much less important for CUDA usage with PhotoShop.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for quietest GTX 570 (or even 560 or 470
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:31 am 
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That Adobe list only applies to Premiere I thought (not Photoshop). I don't do much video encoding. Are you saying I should still stick with something in the 570 series?

Also the different fan configurations are starting to get confusing to me. I thought fewer fans would equal less noise but I see that is not always the case. Is this the general order from quietest to loudest (at idle or 2D load only)?

- passively cooled
- 3 small fans
- 2 fans
- 1 large diameter fan
- 1 standard fan


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for quietest GTX 570 (or even 560 or 470
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 6:11 am 
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Here's an Adobe Photoshop FAQ to help reduce the FUD. It walks through the Open GL issues/requirements. They are pretty basic. The FAQ also points to this useful optimization page.

Fan noise and number/size of fans: it's all hit or miss depending on the implementation. Also, what is quiet to you might sound like a windstorm to another or vice versa.

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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for quietest GTX 570 (or even 560 or 470
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:54 am 
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The Arctic Accelero Xtreme Plus cooler is sold both as a user-fitted device and to card manufacturers for OEM fitment. As it was reviewed by SPCR http://www.silentpcreview.com/Arctic_Cooling_Accelero_Xtreme_Plus this gives some idea of its capabilities and noise levels. There is still the issue of where the card manufacturer chooses to set the idle speed in the graphics card BIOS, but otherwise a graphics card fitted with this cooler is probably the best bet for both quietness and performance at the GTX 570 level.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for quietest GTX 570 (or even 560 or 470
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:57 pm 
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CA_Steve wrote:
Here's an Adobe Photoshop FAQ to help reduce the FUD. It walks through the Open GL issues/requirements. They are pretty basic. The FAQ also points to this useful optimization page.


Thanks, those FAQs are very helpful. Are those links saying that system memory is more important than GPU memory for Photoshop (and the GPU memory is mainly for redraw and making the screen actions "smoother" when scrolling, etc.)?

lodestar wrote:
The Arctic Accelero Xtreme Plus cooler is sold both as a user-fitted device and to card manufacturers for OEM fitment. As it was reviewed by SPCR http://www.silentpcreview.com/Arctic_Cooling_Accelero_Xtreme_Plus this gives some idea of its capabilities and noise levels. There is still the issue of where the card manufacturer chooses to set the idle speed in the graphics card BIOS, but otherwise a graphics card fitted with this cooler is probably the best bet for both quietness and performance at the GTX 570 level.


OK thanks, I see a few models with that cooler (Sparkle, Galaxy). The Gigabyte suggested earlier has a 3-fan cooler too but it looks like their own design (not an Arctic branded cooler).


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for quietest GTX 570 (or even 560 or 470
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:32 pm 
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BMWBig6 wrote:
Are those links saying that system memory is more important than GPU memory for Photoshop (and the GPU memory is mainly for redraw and making the screen actions "smoother" when scrolling, etc.)?


Yes.

Optimal system RAM is 8GB to 16GB for a 64-bit OS. Sorta depends on your file sizes/complexity of operation/how many images open at once.

Video RAM - I don't think you'd get much benefit beyond 1GB, and most, if not all, cards seem to ship with 1GB these days.

The other huge thing to do is have an SSD for the scratch disk.

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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for quietest GTX 570 (or even 560 or 470
PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:34 am 
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Location: Italy
Well, all depends on what's subjectively considered quiet. I think that all gtx570 at stock speed both with reference or with non-reference cooling are QUIET. 560 could be even passive.
A point that has been ignored here is that the reference design has poor VRM, prones to fault, so I would avoid ANY reference board or choose a different model (the 560 for instance, depending on your needs).
I also use photoshop CS (going to upgrade from 4 to 5.5) and a faster card does improve those filters which uses CUDA. The 560 is probably the worst I would consider.

It would be nice if SPCR would review a few of these cards, since the 570 has a very good price/performance point now, especially if overclocked (which can still be done without too much noise).
Personally I have chosen the msi TFIII OC, based on individual opinions -there is a lack of any review for some dumb reason, but similar cards do very well with noise and temps.
Even if louder i think that 3 smaller fans can produce a more annoying noise PATTERN... things nobody consider in normal reviews aimed only at gamers.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for quietest GTX 570 (or even 560 or 470
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:11 pm 
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Posts: 306
Location: Silicon Valley, California
All 560Ti are loud as hell under load or heat. I tried cooling them passively but it simply overheats under 100% load...

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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for quietest GTX 570 (or even 560 or 470
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 3:30 am 
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Posts: 93
According to what Ive read so far this one is by far the quietest:
Galaxy 58NLH5HS3PXZ GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit
(if you mean the one with the big custom cooler on it).

I will receive one by the end of the week and will let you all know how wel/quiet it fares.

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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for quietest GTX 570 (or even 560 or 470
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:13 am 
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Location: Monterey Bay, CA
holy cow - $500. Hope you enjoy it - it's about $300-350 more than you need to spend :)

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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for quietest GTX 570 (or even 560 or 470
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:53 am 
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I have sparkle GTX 580. Sparkle and galaxy have same coolers. (artic cooling) However, both sparkle and galaxy fans are LOUDER than the ones sold directly FROM arctic cooling. (accelero extreme plus) To remedy this, I have replaced the fan that was on sparkle 580 WITH stock accelero extreme plus and voila.... Sound is almost entirely gone fron my videocard. With stock sparkle card I could still very well hear it in my chassis even at lowest setting (40%).


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