AMD HD 6870 the quietest active video card for under $300?

They make noise, too.

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AFK
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AMD HD 6870 the quietest active video card for under $300?

Post by AFK » Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:58 am

According this SPCR article, it's the quietest in 2012. If this is still true, which brand would be the quietest? According to this article, HIS's IceQ models are the quietest and with the best performance, but everywhere I've been shopping online is out of stock (they might still be listed today, but you'll get an email a few days later saying it's out of stock).

Or is there a quieter active video these days?

Thanks!

mczak
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Re: AMD HD 6870 the quietest active video card for under $30

Post by mczak » Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:37 am

I think HD6870 are a bit pointless these days. HD7850 are faster and have slightly lower power consumption (hence they are potentially easier to cool quietly), while not costing really more.
Of course, if they are actually quiet depends on the cooling solution. There's probably some threads here around discussing such cards, IIRC there are lots which have quite good cooling solutions though most have too aggressive fan profile (which may or may not be fixable).

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Re: AMD HD 6870 the quietest active video card for under $30

Post by CA_Steve » Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:46 pm

It wasn't that the HD 6870 was the quietest card, it was the cooling solution used provided the quietest card. Current generation - I'd go with Asus Direct CU II or MSI Twin Frozr IV versions of the GTX 660 Ti for stock solutions.

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Re: AMD HD 6870 the quietest active video card for under $30

Post by AFK » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:49 pm

CA_Steve wrote:It wasn't that the HD 6870 was the quietest card, it was the cooling solution used provided the quietest card. Current generation - I'd go with Asus Direct CU II or MSI Twin Frozr IV versions of the GTX 660 Ti for stock solutions.
Thanks! So those 2 card you recommended are just as quiet or quieter?

And in my Googling, I found 560 and 650 models for the Asus DirectCU II. Which is quieter?

I also only found MSI Twin Frozr III versions, even on MSI's manufacturer website. Where can I found the IV versions?

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Re: AMD HD 6870 the quietest active video card for under $30

Post by Tzupy » Fri Jan 04, 2013 2:16 am

The nVidia 560 and 650 are underpowered for newest games IMO. Get at least a GTX 660 (even non-Ti).
The Asus and MSI are quiet at idle and load, the Asus Direct Cu II might not fit in some cases, check these reviews:
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/MSI/ ... III/1.html
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASUS ... ect_Cu_II/
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASUS ... _II/1.html
Stay away from heavily overclocked cards, they use a lot more power than standard ones, and are noisy.

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Re: AMD HD 6870 the quietest active video card for under $30

Post by CA_Steve » Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:59 am

A suggestion: First figure out what level of GPU performance you need for your apps, then start looking for the quietest version. Otherwise, this is the tech version of Go Fish.

MSI's Power Edition version of the GTX 660 Ti uses Twin Frozr IV.

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Re: AMD HD 6870 the quietest active video card for under $30

Post by AFK » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:21 am

CA_Steve wrote:A suggestion: First figure out what level of GPU performance you need for your apps, then start looking for the quietest version. Otherwise, this is the tech version of Go Fish.
I only want to play StarCraft 2 and XCOM: Enemy Unkown on the highest graphical settings. Still go for the 660 or is that overkill?

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Re: AMD HD 6870 the quietest active video card for under $30

Post by CA_Steve » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:52 am

What's your screen resolution?

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Re: AMD HD 6870 the quietest active video card for under $30

Post by AFK » Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:17 pm

CA_Steve wrote:What's your screen resolution?
1920 x 1080

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Re: AMD HD 6870 the quietest active video card for under $30

Post by CA_Steve » Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:53 pm

Neither game is GPU intensive. Here's a benchmark for Starcraft II - Tom's Hardware. At 1080p, you can easily use a GTX 650 Ti with maxed out quality and get decent framerates. For Xcom, Techspot didn't even bother to benchmark it. They just said,

"While evaluating this game for one of our GPU/CPU performance reviews, we saw no point in doing an article on XCOM, max graphics at 2560x1600 are playable on previous gen mid-range cards."

So, you could spend ~$150 on a GTX 650 Ti and it should meet your needs. Or, move up to a GTX 660 in the ~$200-220 range and give yourself some wiggle room for a future, more gpu intensive game.

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Re: AMD HD 6870 the quietest active video card for under $30

Post by AFK » Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:58 pm

CA_Steve wrote:Neither game is GPU intensive. Here's a benchmark for Starcraft II - Tom's Hardware. At 1080p, you can easily use a GTX 650 Ti with maxed out quality and get decent framerates. For Xcom, Techspot didn't even bother to benchmark it. They just said,

"While evaluating this game for one of our GPU/CPU performance reviews, we saw no point in doing an article on XCOM, max graphics at 2560x1600 are playable on previous gen mid-range cards."

So, you could spend ~$150 on a GTX 650 Ti and it should meet your needs. Or, move up to a GTX 660 in the ~$200-220 range and give yourself some wiggle room for a future, more gpu intensive game.
Thank you for your recommendations! I think I will make the investment and look for the 660. Because the 660 is bit more powerful, does that mean it's noisier than the 650? Or is the additional noise not noticeable?

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Re: AMD HD 6870 the quietest active video card for under $30

Post by CA_Steve » Sat Jan 05, 2013 1:34 pm

Short answer: probably not. They'll have similar idle power and 2D load power. For 3D..

..Longer answer: Depends on the cooling solution and the graphics load.

1) cooling solution: "Direct CU II" and "Twin Frozr" are brands by Asus and MSI that encompass a variety of heatsink/fan solutions. A Twin Frozr IV solution on the GTX 650 Ti might have a different fan/cooler/fan rpm profile than the one on the GTX 660 PE and one on the GTX 660 PE/OC.

2) graphics load: neither of your games will stress the 650 Ti or 660. As it's taking only a portion of the GPU to run the game, they should consume about the same amount of power. So, the one with the beefier cooler has the potential to run cooler/quieter....and the pricier/higher TDP GPU probably has the beefier cooler.

That said, look to see if your games will allow for framerate limiting. Your monitor updates at 60fps...no reason for the GPU to run at 100fps or more...all it's doing is using more power, generating more heat, and is louder. I enabled it on Guild Wars 2 and it made a big difference.

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Re: AMD HD 6870 the quietest active video card for under $30

Post by AFK » Sat Jan 05, 2013 5:19 pm

CA_Steve wrote:A suggestion: First figure out what level of GPU performance you need for your apps, then start looking for the quietest version. Otherwise, this is the tech version of Go Fish.

MSI's Power Edition version of the GTX 660 Ti uses Twin Frozr IV.
Should I get the OC version? Or would it be louder?

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Re: AMD HD 6870 the quietest active video card for under $30

Post by AFK » Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:49 pm

Edit: Disregard.

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