Fanless video card vs. Quiet video card

They make noise, too.

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Ozkar
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Fanless video card vs. Quiet video card

Post by Ozkar » Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:27 am

I'm not sure what would be better when it comes to building a quiet pc:

-A fanless video card: no noise, but the heat stays in the case, making other fans run louder.

-A video card with a fan, which would push the hot air out of the case: this is louder because of the fan, but the hot air leaves the case and has no effect on the case/cpu fans.

Based on your experience, what would be better? I'm deciding between the Gigabyte 5770 fanless or the Sapphire HD 6850. My case will be an Antec P183. I'm not a gamer, but I do expect excellent video performance when I need it.

Fire-Flare
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Re: Fanless video card vs. Quiet video card

Post by Fire-Flare » Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:58 am

I used the best of both worlds: Zip-tied a fan onto a passive card.

That allowed me to set my own fan speed and the overhang directs the heat out of the case.

quest_for_silence
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Re: Fanless video card vs. Quiet video card

Post by quest_for_silence » Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:29 pm

Ozkar wrote:I'm deciding between the Gigabyte 5770 fanless or the Sapphire HD 6850.

I don't think the Sapphire may be classified as an external exhaust card: it hasn't a blower, but it just dumps the heat inside the case (as - for example - the ASUS Cu-Core).

Modo
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Re: Fanless video card vs. Quiet video card

Post by Modo » Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:36 pm

Get a fanless one, remove a slot cover or two below it (creating a fresh air intake), and you're done. This will work fine unless you plan to leave the CPU area fanless.

Lawrence Lee
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Re: Fanless video card vs. Quiet video card

Post by Lawrence Lee » Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:08 pm

A passive heatsink is nice, but adding a fan spinning slow enough to be inaudible will improve cooling substantially. Fanless = over-rated.

Modo
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Re: Fanless video card vs. Quiet video card

Post by Modo » Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:05 pm

We're not talking about some Accelero slap-on that could get fried without a fan. We're talking about a card that comes fanless from the factory, and can take the heat. Spending additional time and money on a fan just doesn't make sense, as it won't make the card run any more stable nor prolong its lifetime in a miningful way. I have used 3 of this kind so far, and not one needed a fan.

Fire-Flare
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Re: Fanless video card vs. Quiet video card

Post by Fire-Flare » Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:02 pm

Modo wrote:We're not talking about some Accelero slap-on that could get fried without a fan. We're talking about a card that comes fanless from the factory, and can take the heat. Spending additional time and money on a fan just doesn't make sense, as it won't make the card run any more stable nor prolong its lifetime in a miningful way. I have used 3 of this kind so far, and not one needed a fan.
But like all electronics, the cards perform better at lower temperatures. Which is why I cool mine.

Modo
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Re: Fanless video card vs. Quiet video card

Post by Modo » Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:50 am

Fire-Flare wrote: But like all electronics, the cards perform better at lower temperatures.
How, exactly? Does cooling the GPU down to room temperature automagically overclock it?

Vicotnik
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Re: Fanless video card vs. Quiet video card

Post by Vicotnik » Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:02 am

Fire-Flare wrote:But like all electronics, the cards perform better at lower temperatures. Which is why I cool mine.
Not really. Two reasons I can think of for adding a fan to a card with stock passive cooling would be trying to ensure a long lifetime of the card. Say if you plan to use the system for many years without upgrading. In a workstation or something. Just adding a fan cannot hurt in such a case, eh?
The other reason is lower power consumption since the card draws a bit more power at higher temperatures. Cooling the card might in some cases result in lower power consumption (even including the power drawn by the fan). But this seems a bit far fetched I think. Adding a slow inaudible fan might drop temperatures a bit, but so much that it would yield a significant drop in total power consumption? I would like to see some real numbers on this and testing it would be hard. Results would be heavily dependent on type of GPU, the actual temperatures and so on.
Lower power draw on the GPU could also lead to other things like lower PSU load, potential lower speed of the PSU fan and so on but this would again be very hard to test in a general manner.

MatH
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Re: Fanless video card vs. Quiet video card

Post by MatH » Thu Jan 13, 2011 9:32 am

Ozkar wrote:I'm not sure what would be better when it comes to building a quiet pc:

-A fanless video card: no noise, but the heat stays in the case, making other fans run louder.

-A video card with a fan, which would push the hot air out of the case: this is louder because of the fan, but the hot air leaves the case and has no effect on the case/cpu fans.

Based on your experience, what would be better? I'm deciding between the Gigabyte 5770 fanless or the Sapphire HD 6850. My case will be an Antec P183. I'm not a gamer, but I do expect excellent video performance when I need it.
Many middle range cards with fans don't push the air out of case although they all have grilled slot cover. Cards with closed coolers that push all the air out usually generate a lot of heat (170+ W) and are quite loud.

ermi
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Re: Fanless video card vs. Quiet video card

Post by ermi » Sat Jan 15, 2011 3:28 am

I wouldn't even consider a video card with a fan for not gaming. Even for moderate gaming (5770) I'd get a fanless card.

My personal take is to use as few fans as possible (while keeping components cool enough). Fans stop working or become louder and require maintenance. It's easier to replace 12 cm case fans than video card coolers.

appletree
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Re: Fanless video card vs. Quiet video card

Post by appletree » Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:41 pm

Well I had a passive Sapphire 3870 and without fan it would reach temps over 100C in games and then started stuttering which was a very annoying thing so I couldn't manage without a fan. Now mounting even the slowest 120mm fan at let's say 500 rpm will have minimal impact on acoustics while lowering temps drastically. I always looked on "fanless" cards as that they benefit or almost require some airflow in the case. I also own the Sapphire 6850 and of course it is an exhaust / blower type of card.

My advice to the OP - get 5770 if you want best acoustics, get 6850 if you want best possible performance / noise balance (it is likely that 6850 at idle will be quieter than noise floor of your system and slightly louder at full load - this of course depends on rest of your specs, but I guess most of HDDs are louder than 6850 at idle), or get 2x6950, mod them to 6970 and then run in crossfire if you want best performance for money and you are totally not concerned with noise :lol:

Ozkar
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Re: Fanless video card vs. Quiet video card

Post by Ozkar » Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:22 pm

Ok, I got a fanless 5770. Can't wait to try it. Thanks for all the input.

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