8800 series stock fan noise feedbacks

They make noise, too.

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shunx
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8800 series stock fan noise feedbacks

Post by shunx » Mon Apr 02, 2007 3:43 am

Since SPCR doesn't review video cards the noise level of stock GPU fans can seem a bit vague. Here are some user reports I've read:

8800 GTX:
A poster on another site stated that the stock cooler is quieter than the Antec Tri-Cool 120mm fan at 800-900rpm, which would be close to 20-23dBA@1m according to SPCR:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article695-page3.html
The poster also expressed that the fan doesn't speed up noticeably in games. From SPCR users: "The card is silent when not under load, ie in Windows etc. For standard games that don't place too much of a strain on the card, it's inaudible. The only time the fans speeds up is in games like Oblivion that stress the card.. that said, you need to turn HDR on and run in ultra-high resolutions to get the fan to rev up."
"I can't hear it over my 5 Scythe SFLEX E (49CFM, 21DB) 120's.. I'd say it's close to Accelero levels on auto (59% fan power for me)."
viewtopic.php?t=35682&highlight=8800gtx

By all indications the GTX sounds very quiet when idle, probably close to 20 dBA. It may not be necessary to modify a stock GTX to make it quieter. Does anyone have a GTX they find loud?

One concern with the GTX though is the numerous reports of coil buzz/whine:
viewtopic.php?t=37899&highlight=8800gtx

8800GTS 640mb:
"Overall the 8800GTS fan was the most intrusive source of noise, by a fair margin" in a system running a Samsung SP250C, Tagan TG420-U01 PSU, Ninja Scythe stock fan at low speed, Tri-Cool, NMB-MAT 92mm at low speed: viewtopic.php?t=38522&highlight=8800gts
I'm not familiar with that PSU but the user said it's not a suitable choice for a silent PC.
"When it idles or in 2D it's similar to tri-cool fan at low or maybe just a bit louder [27 dBA@1m,8V per SPCR] and with load like tri-cool full [36dBA@1m,12V] or greater, not screaming loud like some older 15K rpm SCSI disks"
viewtopic.php?t=35682&highlight=8800gts

So the GTS sounds much louder than the GTX under load and likely when idle as well. At about 120w full load, it's difficult to cool with most aftermarket products. Only the HR-03 Plus comes to mind, and that takes away most of the free slots on the motherboard.

8800GTS 320mb:
Simillar to 640mb version in noise maybe?

nikkai
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Post by nikkai » Mon Apr 02, 2007 4:19 am

Bear in mind, even if the card itself is relatively quiet, this thing is gonna heat up your entire case very very easily

miTchy
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Post by miTchy » Mon Apr 02, 2007 1:27 pm

i have the 640MB 8800GTS i would say the fan is very quiet at idle
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shunx
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Post by shunx » Mon Apr 02, 2007 4:52 pm

A noise measurement:

8800GTX
system idle: 43dBA @ 1 inch
system load: 49-51dBA @ 1 inch

8800GTS 640mb
system idle: 43-44dBA @ 1 inch
system load: 45-48dBA @ 1 inch
http://techreport.com/reviews/2007q1/ge ... ex.x?pg=11

This one seems to indicate that the GTX is not quieter than the GTS. Or maybe the noise comes from other components such as the PSU due to more power draw from the GTX.

Another test, unclear how far away the sound meter is placed:
8800GTX:
system idle: 41dBA auto fan control
system load: 47 dBA auto fan control, 50 dBA direct fan control @ 100%
http://www.barrys-rigs-n-reviews.com/re ... 88gtx5.htm

"I have an 8800GTX (Gainward) in a P180B with a freaking Raptor and Barracuda in it. The 8800 is by far the noisiest thing in the case."
viewtopic.php?t=38832&highlight=

I'm not sure what to make of these, due to the lack of a controlled environment.

shunx
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Post by shunx » Mon Apr 02, 2007 5:30 pm

8800 GTS (Leadtek, 320mb?):
"The noise is surprisingly low, compaired to the other GF cards I have had. It's just a thad bit "louder" than my previous X1800GTO, with a Zalman VF 900CU. ... At 19C room temp, the fan was set to lower speed. At full throttle, the fan is still pretty silent."
viewtopic.php?t=38832&highlight=

Zalman VF 900CU's stock fan is 19dBA@1m,5v to 30dBA@1m,12v:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article612-page8.html

Varun
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Post by Varun » Mon Apr 02, 2007 7:44 pm

I own a GTS and I can not hear it. It runs a bit warm (mid to high 60s at idle) but it is the first video card I have gotten in a long time that does not need an aftermarket cooler to make it quiet.

As was said it does not seem to spin up much in games although I haven't played much Oblivion on it yet (A bit tired of the game after running through it once already before buying this card)

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Post by nutball » Mon Apr 02, 2007 11:06 pm

To be honest I think you're on a hiding to nothing trying to draw any firm conclusions from a bunch of comments about "it's really quiet", or "man that's loud".

People's perception of noise differs. The cards are all in cases with different airflow configurations. They're in environments with different ambient noise levels. Hell, even the ambient temperature will be different depending on where you are in the world.

Most importantly though, folks assessment of what constitutes quiet/silent is different. "I can't hear it over my five case fans"??? :shock:

shunx
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Post by shunx » Tue Apr 03, 2007 8:22 pm

Is it possible to estimate the dBA @ 1m based on dBA @ 1 inch?

SPCR already has this VGA cooling forum. Why not do some reviews on the latest cards? It will draw in more readers and make them think about computer noise. Until then all we have to go by are reader comments and a few tests for noise in non-controlled noisy environments.

shunx
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Post by shunx » Tue Apr 03, 2007 10:57 pm

A test by Anandtech:
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2873&p=9
Ambient noise: 38.1 dBA.
8800 GTX (7 cards tested): 48-49* dBA @ unknown distance
8800 GTS (1 card tested): 48 dBA
*except the Sparkle GTX at 55.7dBA
In the test, the cards did not produce any extra noise under load.

I noticed that many basic SPL meters can only provide measurements above ~40 dBA. In one test, the Noctua 1200 fan is measured to be between 40 to 49.5 dBA at 12cm away:
http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/sho ... p?t=137832
SPCR's test of the same fan measured 25 dBA @ 1m at full speed. So 25dBA@1m ~= 50 dBA@12cm maybe?

I'm going to assume that with some model specific exceptions, the 8800 series is generally not louder than a low airflow 120mm fan like the Noctua 1200 at 12V. Would this contradict anyone's experience?

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Post by qstoffe » Wed Apr 04, 2007 12:03 am

I own a 8800GTX. I've tried it in two cases with the following hardware:

- Corsair 520W
- Intel 6600 (2,4GHz) (Scythe Ninja cooler with fan)
- 2 x Seagate.10 320GB Inside Alleycat enclosures and suspended on foam (very quiet)
- 2 x 120mm Nexus fans.

All fans (ninja fan + 2x Nexus) runs @lowest with a Zalman ZM-MFC1. I think the Zalman outputs about 5 or 6V on the lowest setting.

First off I think the card is silent @idle. However it IS the loudest component in my system but not by very much. I would say that @idle it sounds like a Nexus 120mm @8V.

@idle the gfx fan spins @50% (1400rpm) of top speed. @100% (2800rpm) the card would be very noisy in a silent computer. Although it's much more silent than other top range cards like 1900XTX and 7950GT (I've heard them in action).

I've tried the card in a very poor ventilated case (Chieftech dragon, no case fans) and the card quickly spun up to 100% during intense gaming like Oblivion.

I've also tried the card in my self built wood case wich has airintake from the bottom of the case and excellent overall airflow. So far the card has never increased fanspeed over idle no matter how hard I've tried to stress it.

Concerning the buzzing coil sound: The only time it's loud enough to "overvoice" the rest of the system so that it becomes noticeable is in the game Oblivion (only in menus where the fps is around 1400fps). With V-sync turned on this is not a problem for me. However from what I've read from other people this is a problem that varies in strenght. Some claim to have no coil sound. Others say it's the loudest noise in their system (and they are not silent freaks :shock: ). I believe most people don't have this issue on thier cards though.

azmo
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Post by azmo » Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:49 am

I get a bit of buzz on my BFG 8800 GTS but only when the monitor is off. Overall I would say it's very quiet. I have a seasonic PSU and ninja HS now but I still really can't hear it at idle. Really the only thing I hear in my system is the Seagate hard drive (whisper quiet at first but became more audible with age)

At load I'll be playing a game with the sound high enough that it's impossible to hear if it is indeed audible.

oneils
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Post by oneils » Wed Apr 04, 2007 12:52 pm

I was surprised by how loud my BFG 8800GTS is. Its an OC2, so its overclocked by BFG. The fan is louder than my old 6800GT! The 6800GT was in a sonata case, the 8800GTS is an a p180 case.

And, I don't think its a matter subjectivity, I can hear it over every other component (two antec tri-cool fans and an ac freezer 7 pro) from across the room. I don't exactly have to be sitting on top of the pc to hear it.

Anyone know if the vf-700 or vf-900 is compatible with the 8800 series cards? Zalman's website doesn't mention anything. I'm wondering what an after-market cooler would do to an overclocked card....

But, from what I read here, I could be mistaken. I'll have to double-check to make sure its not the case fans...maybe I set them on high speed instead of low...

qstoffe
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Post by qstoffe » Thu Apr 05, 2007 6:06 am

oneils wrote:I was surprised by how loud my BFG 8800GTS is. Its an OC2, so its overclocked by BFG. The fan is louder than my old 6800GT! The 6800GT was in a sonata case, the 8800GTS is an a p180 case.
Thats seems very strange :?: My last gfx card was a 6800GT modded with a vf-700 set on lowest and the noise level was about equal to my MSI 8800GTX @idle. Maybe BFG has set the fan to spin faster @idle ?? Mine runs about 1400rpm @idle (checked using RivaTuner). What rpm do you get @idle ?

[Edit]: Did you mean noise level @load ? If you don't have a well ventilated case and that fan spins up to 100% the card WILL be noisy although not as noisy as a 1900XTX. The noise characteristics is somewhat different on this card compared to others. It makes more air "whooshing" sounds rather than high pitch fan sounds.

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Post by MikeC » Thu Apr 05, 2007 9:21 am

qstoffe wrote:First off I think the card is silent @idle. However it IS the loudest component in my system but not by very much. I would say that @idle it sounds like a Nexus 120mm @8V.

@idle the gfx fan spins @50% (1400rpm) of top speed. @100% (2800rpm) the card would be very noisy in a silent computer. Although it's much more silent than other top range cards like 1900XTX and 7950GT (I've heard them in action).

I've tried the card in a very poor ventilated case (Chieftech dragon, no case fans) and the card quickly spun up to 100% during intense gaming like Oblivion.

I've also tried the card in my self built wood case wich has airintake from the bottom of the case and excellent overall airflow. So far the card has never increased fanspeed over idle no matter how hard I've tried to stress it.
This is very good information, as qstoffe took care to detail all the conditions and other noise sources. But I wonder if describing the sound to be similar to a Nexus 120 at 8V is really accurate? I say this because...

-- at 8V, the Nexus spins very slowly. Maybe 700rpm. In contrast, the gfx fan spins at 1400rpm.
-- the Nexus is a 120mm axial fan while the gfx fan is something like an 80mm blower style fan.

Surely those differences will lead to substantial differences in the quality of the noise?
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oneils
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Post by oneils » Thu Apr 05, 2007 9:38 am

qstoffe wrote: Thats seems very strange :?: My last gfx card was a 6800GT modded with a vf-700 set on lowest and the noise level was about equal to my MSI 8800GTX @idle. Maybe BFG has set the fan to spin faster @idle ?? Mine runs about 1400rpm @idle (checked using RivaTuner). What rpm do you get @idle ?

[Edit]: Did you mean noise level @load ? If you don't have a well ventilated case and that fan spins up to 100% the card WILL be noisy although not as noisy as a 1900XTX. The noise characteristics is somewhat different on this card compared to others. It makes more air "whooshing" sounds rather than high pitch fan sounds.
Hey qstoffe, I eventually did the same thing as you with my 6800gt - threw on a vf-700 and set it at its lowest setting (3 volt?).

I'll try and install Rivatuner tonight to see what rpm's I'm getting. Is there a way to find that out outside of Rivatuner? I couldn't find anything in BIOS. But its seems that it is always at full speed.

One thing I'm wondering about is wether or not I'm complaining about the right component. Does the AC freezer 7 pro, or Seasonic M-12 make a lot of noise? I don't think they are the issue though.

I'm going to try to see if I can throttle back the fan. Maybe BFG just set it at 100% because of the factory overclock...

oneils
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Post by oneils » Fri Apr 06, 2007 4:44 pm

Well, I screwed up. It wasn't the card after all. It was the CPU Heatsink Fan.

I went into the BIOS of my Asus P5B-E and switched the CPU Fan to "Silent Mode." It worked like a charm.

I've got egg on my face now! :oops:

shunx
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Post by shunx » Fri Apr 06, 2007 8:03 pm

so oneils how loud is the GTS really?

oneils
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Post by oneils » Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:11 pm

Hey shunx, not loud at all :o

Now that I've figured out the fan controls on my board, I've realised that I don't think I can even hear the 8800 over the other fans in the case...

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Post by Janzki » Fri Apr 06, 2007 10:24 pm

I have a Leadtek 8800 GTS and can't hear it over Tricool at low...

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Post by qstoffe » Sat Apr 07, 2007 6:22 am

MikeC wrote:But I wonder if describing the sound to be similar to a Nexus 120 at 8V is really accurate? I say this because...

-- at 8V, the Nexus spins very slowly. Maybe 700rpm. In contrast, the gfx fan spins at 1400rpm.
-- the Nexus is a 120mm axial fan while the gfx fan is something like an 80mm blower style fan.

Surely those differences will lead to substantial differences in the quality of the noise?
Yes this has puzzled me too so I did some more testing. I tested this while in bios with all harddrives off. Only two things moving the 8800GTX and 1 Nexus hooked up to the ZM-MFC1.

I'm ashamed to say I was waaaaaaay off with my "guesstimate" of 8V :oops: :oops: :oops: I apologize to everyone who was misled by this. :oops: When I tested, I did so subjectivly with my ear about 20cm (8 inches) from the fans. This is probably the reason for my previously bad guesstimate because before I only tested with my case closed 1m away. The idle noise from the 8800GTX is actually a little higher than my suspended 120 Nexus is @12V !!!!!

Hmmm maybe I do need an aftermarket cooler after all. I attached an image of my woodcase. When I did the testing I used the Nexus fan that blows out the back of the case.

Image

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Re: 8800 series stock fan noise feedbacks

Post by yacoub » Sat Apr 07, 2007 6:49 pm

shunx wrote: So the GTS sounds much louder than the GTX under load and likely when idle as well.
I don't know that I'd go on one review for each. Maybe if you had like half a dozen opinions of each (which you're approaching now at this point in the thread hehe).

How do the actual physical coolers differ? Are they actually different for the GTS and GTX?

shunx
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Re: 8800 series stock fan noise feedbacks

Post by shunx » Sun Apr 08, 2007 5:28 pm

yacoub wrote:I don't know that I'd go on one review for each. Maybe if you had like half a dozen opinions of each (which you're approaching now at this point in the thread hehe).
My bad. Next time more hard numbers first. :D Some people reporting GTS cards being loud may have quieter setups, and vice versa.

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Post by depravedone » Tue Apr 10, 2007 12:46 pm

oneils wrote:Well, I screwed up. It wasn't the card after all. It was the CPU Heatsink Fan.

I went into the BIOS of my Asus P5B-E and switched the CPU Fan to "Silent Mode." It worked like a charm.

I've got egg on my face now! :oops:

I have the EVGA 8800GTS 640MB and the fan is dead quiet. I can't even hear it if i put my ear up to the back of the case. It never seems to ramp up at all either as my temps never get about 68C under load. The loudest thing in my case is my 7700AlCU fan at 5V.
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Post by A176 » Tue Apr 10, 2007 4:09 pm

I cannot hear my evga GTS 640mb at two feet. The loudest thing in my system is my silverstone ... and it annoys the hell outta me, because otherwise my system would be virtually silent! :roll:

qstoffe
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Post by qstoffe » Thu Apr 12, 2007 4:15 am

qstoffe wrote:I'm ashamed to say I was waaaaaaay off with my "guesstimate" of 8V :oops: :oops: :oops: I apologize to everyone who was misled by this. :oops: When I tested, I did so subjectivly with my ear about 20cm (8 inches) from the fans. This is probably the reason for my previously bad guesstimate because before I only tested with my case closed 1m away. The idle noise from the 8800GTX is actually a little higher than my suspended 120 Nexus is @12V !!!!!
I just could't believe that I was so wrong in my first guess so I decided to test once more:

@10cm to the 8800GTX fan
- about the same as a Nexus 120m @12V 10cm away.

@1.5m to the 8800GTX fan
- about the same as a Nexus 120m @9V 1.5m away.

How can this be !?!? Is something wrong with my ears or could this be because of differences in noise characteristics ?

wutang
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Post by wutang » Thu Apr 12, 2007 9:35 am

my leadtek gts started out of the box real silent, after a few days, the fan got a bit more noisier, i would estimate the noise comparable to a vf700 at 7-9 volt. but overall, i consider the fan silent enough for the average people but probably not enough for most spcr users. so ordered a hr-03 plus and waiting for it :D

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Post by qstoffe » Thu Apr 12, 2007 2:10 pm

wutang wrote:my leadtek gts started out of the box real silent, after a few days, the fan got a bit more noisier, i would estimate the noise comparable to a vf700 at 7-9 volt.
So maybe I'm not crazy after all :)
wutang wrote:...but overall, i consider the fan silent enough for the average people but probably not enough for most spcr users. so ordered a hr-03 plus and waiting for it :D
So very true. I will mod my card too. Before I order the hr-03 I'm thinking of just removing the orginal fan and add a Nexux 120mm fan.... depends how slow I can run the fan without to high load temps.

wutang
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Post by wutang » Fri Apr 13, 2007 12:05 pm

sounds like a hard job installing a 120 mm fan in that small hole???? unless there is some kind of duct???
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Post by spookmineer » Fri Apr 13, 2007 5:50 pm

So far, I must say most feedback is really promising.
The 8800 is a high end card and at idle it sounds like it's performing way better then my current card (judging from the feedback).
Ramping up when playing games *shouldn't* be a problem, I think most gamers have a headset or speakers on while gaming (I can't hear my card while gaming).

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