GTX 570 / GTX 580 / HD 6970 quiet on air (water maybe) ?

They make noise, too.

Moderators: NeilBlanchard, Ralf Hutter, sthayashi, Lawrence Lee

Post Reply
appletree
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:26 pm
Location: Slovakia

GTX 570 / GTX 580 / HD 6970 quiet on air (water maybe) ?

Post by appletree » Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:54 am

Hello, I don't see high-end cards to be discussed on SPCR too often, though I would definitely like to buy one
(sometime before Crysis 2 launches) - the only "tiny" problem is I couldn't bear the loud stock fans on any of them.

So is it possible to cool them quietly on air somehow ? By quiet I mean everything that makes noise is one or two 120mm fans mounted to a large heatsink at about 600-700 rpm.

I am especially interested in GTX 570 / 580. Do some aftermarket coolers already exist that could handle it ?
Otherwise: could water cooling do it at the required level of quietness ?

For ages I was using low TDP cards sacrificing performance for the quietness as I hate card modding, but frankly I am tired of it. I want performance. I want low noise. So I've changed my mind finally. I am willing to mod anything that is required to achieve this. I would CF/SLI two lower TDP cards if I was not affraid of microstutter - which makes it a no go. I am happy to wait until some official aftermarket coolers / water blocks appear (anything out there before Crysis 2) - but will they work ? For now, I would like to know my options. Doesn't matter if the quiet solution would require 3-4 slots - as long it is quiet.

wouterr5
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 11:46 am
Location: The Netherlands

Re: GTX 570 / GTX 580 / HD 6970 quiet on air (water maybe) ?

Post by wouterr5 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:15 pm

With the reference designs currently on the market, you'll at least have to replace the heatsink, as they all look something like this:
Image
When custom cooler designs hit the market, you can limit the modding to a minimum by buying a Kama Stay...
Image...
...with a GPU fan cable --> CPU fan cable that retail for 2$ on ebay, a custom fan profile in MSI Afterburner, and a quiet PWM fan like a Slipstream PWM or an Arctic Cooling Pro 12cm, with removed fan and shroud of course :)
I know from experience that you can cool a Vapor-X 4870(160 watt TDP) with 1 120mm fan on 800 RPM under 80 degrees, the higher TDPs of the graphics card you list may be a problem. Also, do you want silence in idle, or in load as well? Silence under load will probably require the mounting of a bigger heatsink (by Prolimatech, or Thermalright), but i bet you can still safely aircool it :P
[size=67]Lian-Li PC-G7 | Nexus & AC - fans @ 600 RPM | AC Freezer 7 Pro @ 500-2500 RPM | 9600 GT w/ Accelero S1 | BeQuiet 350 Watt fan @ 5v[/size]

Tzupy
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 1561
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2005 10:47 am
Location: Bucharest, Romania

Re: GTX 570 / GTX 580 / HD 6970 quiet on air (water maybe) ?

Post by Tzupy » Sat Dec 25, 2010 2:43 pm

Both the Accelero Xtreme Plus and the Shaman, reviewed at SPCR, should be able to cool the GPU of a GTX 580 at reasonable noise levels.
While those both claim to be compatible with the GTX 580, IMO neither provides adequate VRM cooling. Thermalright have a special VRM cooler for the GTX 480, maybe in a couple of months they'll have a GTX 580 version too.
But you have to keep in mind that a GTX 580 + 125W CPU (I assume) may push the power draw in demanding games above 400W, so you also need a PSU that doesn't ramp much till 400W.

appletree
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:26 pm
Location: Slovakia

Re: GTX 570 / GTX 580 / HD 6970 quiet on air (water maybe) ?

Post by appletree » Sun Dec 26, 2010 2:44 am

wouterr5 wrote: When custom cooler designs hit the market, you can limit the modding to a minimum by buying a Kama Stay...
http://www.scythe-usa.com/product/acc/0 ... x2_400.jpg...
...with a GPU fan cable --> CPU fan cable that retail for 2$ on ebay, a custom fan profile in MSI Afterburner, and a quiet PWM fan like a Slipstream PWM or an Arctic Cooling Pro 12cm, with removed fan and shroud of course :)
Interesting - I will consider it just because of how neat and clean it looks, but is there any advantage in performance / noise compared to situation where fans are attached directly to the heatsink ? Btw I really don't like attaching fans to the heatsink directly, mainly because I prefer clean solutions as much as possible. (That it unless they won't sell wires or clips in HW shops specially designed for attaching fans to VGA heatsinks. I hate DIY solutions, I even despise the word "modding" :lol: as to me it automatically implies a fault in design if it's necessary)

Also could fixed rpm fans be up to the task ? I would probably prefer constant rpm fans as I think they tend to be quieter than pwm. Also I guess most of thos cards are already relatively quit in idle, so quiet load is the main concern here.

appletree
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:26 pm
Location: Slovakia

Re: GTX 570 / GTX 580 / HD 6970 quiet on air (water maybe) ?

Post by appletree » Sun Dec 26, 2010 3:25 am

Tzupy wrote: But you have to keep in mind that a GTX 580 + 125W CPU (I assume) may push the power draw in demanding games above 400W, so you also need a PSU that doesn't ramp much till 400W.
I have Q9650 which is 95 TDP on stock settings - and I am running it on 1.21V @ 3.6 GHz - I guess it should be within 95W during normal usage (not so sure about linpack) My PSU is Seasonic X-750 and I would say that with my current VGA at load (HD 6850) I never hear it during gaming sessions. I am not sure if it's because the fan on it actually doesn't spin, or its noise is overpowered by GPU which at high load is slightly above noise floor of my system.

Of course if PSU should become louder than the actual (modded 580) GPU then I wouldn't be very happy. Would 570 be a better choice regarding noise from PSU ? I see there is like ~ 30W difference in the cards under load which doesn't seem like a lot, but still should be easier to cool down + it's considerably cheaper, hm...

Ideally what I would want to do is to take the noise floor of my system at idle and make sure that after adding new GPU the noise won't change dramatically - even at full load the noise should be allowed to stay only slightly above idle (if PWM fans are used or the PSU fan kicks in). Also I've decided that it will be an nvidia card due to some problems of ATI/AMD cards @120Hz.

Edit. from looking at this
http://www.seasonicusa.com/images/X/X-04.jpg
I would probably very much liked to stay below 375W +/- 5% at full load
(full load == game that utilizes all 4 cores and GPU to the max, not linpack + furmark)
Seems like I should be able to meet this with 570, not so sure with 580

Tzupy
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 1561
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2005 10:47 am
Location: Bucharest, Romania

Re: GTX 570 / GTX 580 / HD 6970 quiet on air (water maybe) ?

Post by Tzupy » Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:38 pm

I think that under realistic gaming conditions you shouldn't draw more than 375W with a properly cooled GTX 580.
Check this Xbitlabs review of the Shaman and comparison with other coolers: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cooler ... html#sect1
I stress again the importance of proper VRM cooling. After the VRM temp reaches 110C their efficiency drops and the card draws more power.

Wibla
Friend of SPCR
Posts: 779
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2007 12:03 am
Location: Norway

Re: GTX 570 / GTX 580 / HD 6970 quiet on air (water maybe) ?

Post by Wibla » Sun Dec 26, 2010 3:38 pm

The 580-series use vapor chamber coolers. These are better than the old style stock coolers, and according to the hardocp review, the noise level (subjectively) is far lower than the old 480-series, even under load.

If you must have it totally quiet under all circumstances, I would recommend using watercooling and dump the (significant) heat via big radiators. Maybe even move the radiator into a different room.

appletree
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:26 pm
Location: Slovakia

Re: GTX 570 / GTX 580 / HD 6970 quiet on air (water maybe) ?

Post by appletree » Mon Dec 27, 2010 4:26 am

Tzupy wrote: Check this Xbitlabs review of the Shaman and comparison with other coolers: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cooler ... html#sect1
I stress again the importance of proper VRM cooling. After the VRM temp reaches 110C their efficiency drops and the card draws more power.
Importance of proper VRM cooling noted. And well, they've done all the tests with opened case so the numbers are most likely even too optimistic. One thing I am wondering about is how do coolers like Accelero Extreme Plus or Shaman support case airflow. With stock GPU coolers you usually have "horizontally" placed fins and the GPU fan will push air from front to rear where it is exhausted = heated air can leave the case. And here is a photo of Xtreme Plus which demonstrates what I mean by vertically placed fins:

http://www.silentpcreview.com/files/ima ... eme/07.jpg

Doesn't it make forward -> rear air movement impossible ? So what will happen with all the hot air ? I am using just 700 rpm Nexus 120mm fans in my p182 case - as a rear and top exhaust fans and this is enough to get rid of heat produced by CPU / MB but it's finely tuned and most likely couldn't handle much more heat. Will a fan mounted to the middle (GPU) position of p182 help somehow with forward - > rear air movement ? It helps with HD 6850.

appletree
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:26 pm
Location: Slovakia

Re: GTX 570 / GTX 580 / HD 6970 quiet on air (water maybe) ?

Post by appletree » Mon Dec 27, 2010 4:46 am

Wibla wrote:the noise level (subjectively) is far lower than the old 480-series, even under load.
Yes I know that 580 stock coolers are supposed to be much quieter than jet engine (old 480) :lol:
But all the graphs I've searched through show that even 570 is much louder than 6850 and I find 6850 at load tolerable only with 120mm fan mounted to the GPU position of p182 and rpm reduced to 40% in afterburner. After that the noise is actually very good for card of this performance level wit stock cooler, however load temps are 85-90 degrees.
Wibla wrote:If you must have it totally quiet under all circumstances, I would recommend using watercooling and dump the (significant) heat via big radiators. Maybe even move the radiator into a different room.
If I could buy this in local shops:
http://www.evga.com/articles/00592/
I would consider it as it would help me to avoid modding the card. Problem is I don't have enough space where to place radiator (placing it to anther room is out of question) - how big radiator are we speaking about ? Is it possible to water cool it quieter than on air (no overclock) ? As someone with zero water cooling experience I am especially concerned with pump noise and maintenance. And I am not sure if I am willing to spent that much on card that will be bested when 28nm comes.

Wibla
Friend of SPCR
Posts: 779
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2007 12:03 am
Location: Norway

Re: GTX 570 / GTX 580 / HD 6970 quiet on air (water maybe) ?

Post by Wibla » Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:00 am

Here's another 580 review that mentions (the lack of) fan noise.

Honestly, I think someone finally figured out that noisy stock coolers are a bad thing, and did something proper about it.

appletree
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:26 pm
Location: Slovakia

Re: GTX 570 / GTX 580 / HD 6970 quiet on air (water maybe) ?

Post by appletree » Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:59 am

Wibla wrote:Honestly, I think someone finally figured out that noisy stock coolers are a bad thing, and did something proper about it.
I don't trust subjective statements like "Under most conditions, the fan on the ASUS ENGTX580 was not audible over the power supply and CPU fans". I mean cmon - what kind of PSU, case and CPU fans do they use if they can not hear > 200W GPU cooled just by single (I guess) 92mm fan ? So far none of the review sites that actually measured the noise levels didn't look too optimistic (relative to HD6850), e.g. like this: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4008/nvid ... gtx-580/17

Of course nvidia has done an admirable job for solution that has to work regardless of case airflow and has to fit within 2 slots, however so far they won't allow non-reference designs to be larger that 2 slots as to not interfere with SLI opiton. Thus at the same time for people who want really quiet not just much quieter than jet engine, the reference design could be looked at as a failure. There is certainly a market for 3 slot coolers for people that want silence and/or better temperatures for overclocking + they don't need SLI and seems like aftermarket coolers are the only way to get there at the moment. And this sux, because it also means you'll automatically lose warranty if you change it (only exception being EVGA) - as if the change of cooler wasn't a legit option. Therefore I don't see much to get excited about new reference GTX 580 cooler nor nvidias 2 slot cooler "politics"

LM741C
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:37 pm
Location: C-c-c-california

Re: GTX 570 / GTX 580 / HD 6970 quiet on air (water maybe) ?

Post by LM741C » Wed Dec 29, 2010 9:21 pm

Here's another 580 review that mentions (the lack of) fan noise.

Honestly, I think someone finally figured out that noisy stock coolers are a bad thing, and did something proper about it.
It may be quieter than before but it's neither quiet nor silent. At idle, fan is spinning at ~1400 RPM and I can hear it from my doorway from 4-5M away with the card inside a P183 case with the front door closed. I think the other sites/reviewers just have lower standards than here.
I don't trust subjective statements like "Under most conditions, the fan on the ASUS ENGTX580 was not audible over the power supply and CPU fans". I mean cmon - what kind of PSU, case and CPU fans do they use if they can not hear > 200W GPU cooled just by single (I guess) 92mm fan ?
Me too.
So far none of the review sites that actually measured the noise levels didn't look too optimistic (relative to HD6850), e.g. like this: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4008/nvid ... gtx-580/17
I would tend to agree with the anandtech article that noise levels aren't too optimistic.
I am especially interested in GTX 570 / 580. Do some aftermarket coolers already exist that could handle it ?
Otherwise: could water cooling do it at the required level of quietness ?
Possible candidates are (1) thermalright shaman; (2) gelid icy vision; (3) accelero extreme plus (huge, did not like); (4) prolimatech mk-13 (heatpipe orientation issues). I've used none of them so I can't really comment on how well they will work the the 580/570's.

appletree
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:26 pm
Location: Slovakia

Re: GTX 570 / GTX 580 / HD 6970 quiet on air (water maybe) ?

Post by appletree » Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:42 am

LM741C wrote: It may be quieter than before but it's neither quiet nor silent. At idle, fan is spinning at ~1400 RPM and I can hear it from my doorway from 4-5M away with the card inside a P183 case with the front door closed.
Hmm... I wouldn't expect it to be that bad just from looking at the measured noise levels. Is the card correctly underclocked while idling in 2D ? It should be about 50 MHz core. Also, have you tried custom fan profile in afterburner ?
LM741C wrote: Possible candidates are (1) thermalright shaman; (2) gelid icy vision; (3) accelero extreme plus (huge, did not like); (4) prolimatech mk-13 (heatpipe orientation issues). I've used none of them so I can't really comment on how well they will work the the 580/570's.
It seems like all currently available 580 coolers suffer from the mentioned problem of inadequate VRM cooling. So I asked Thermalright tech support if the VRM-G2 heatsink (designed for GTX 480) will fit on GTX 580 or when can we expect similar sink for 580. Here is their answer:

"Thanks for your mail, we are sorry that the G2 is not compatible with the GTX580 VRM part, as this new VRM design is not hot, we temporarily have no plan for it."

Well I guess this means I can buy the 580 (or 570) even now because there probably won't be anything better to cool it in next three months. Btw I was quite surprised to hear that 580 VRM is supposed to run cooler than 480 - I wasn't able to either verify or disapprove this by quick web search. According to this: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gef ... 06-14.html the 480 is only like 10W more power hungry then 580, so can anyone comment if it is indeed possible for the 580 VRM to be "less hot" ?

So far it looks like Thermalright Shaman is the best option for me at the moment as it provides best cooling of VRMs per dB of noise (based on SPCR reviews) and even at the lowest 610 rpm it should (I guess) be able to cool 580 GPU below 85-90 degrees. (My target temp threshold for normal gaming scenarios) I also hope that mounting a 120mm fan in to middle (GPU fan) position of p182 case should provide additional airflow that will help with further lowering of GPU and VRM temps. Fact or fiction ? :lol: Beside that I don't see much other options for cooling VRMs. (btw this is why I have to agree that Accelero Xtreme Plus is too long as there won't be enough space to mount additional 120mm fan in front of it)

LM741C
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:37 pm
Location: C-c-c-california

Re: GTX 570 / GTX 580 / HD 6970 quiet on air (water maybe) ?

Post by LM741C » Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:25 am

appletree wrote: Hmm... I wouldn't expect it to be that bad just from looking at the measured noise levels.
It's not that bad at idle, unless your goal is silence in a quiet environment, idle noise can probably be ignored by most. On load it's still not as noisy as my hair dryer on low (I have a noisy hair dryer :lol:). Since it pretty much sits in the middle of the pack (in terms of noise), find one or two cards above/below it and you can have a good idea of how it sounds.
appletree wrote: Is the card correctly underclocked while idling in 2D ? It should be about 50 MHz core. Also, have you tried custom fan profile in afterburner ?
Yes it slows down the clock, but the moment you run two monitors, like I do, the clock goes up to full speed. My earlier comments regarding noise was with only a single monitor in use. Their tech I contacted said this was normal to prevent tearing.
It seems like all currently available 580 coolers suffer from the mentioned problem of inadequate VRM cooling. So I asked Thermalright tech support if the VRM-G2 heatsink (designed for GTX 480) will fit on GTX 580 or when can we expect similar sink for 580. Here is their answer:

"Thanks for your mail, we are sorry that the G2 is not compatible with the GTX580 VRM part, as this new VRM design is not hot, we temporarily have no plan for it."
Interesting to know. I also considered getting their VRM cooler and pairing it with the Shaman.
The 480 is only like 10W more power hungry then 580, so can anyone comment if it is indeed possible for the 580 VRM to be "less hot" ?
Official TDP is 250W but some sites have measured it at 350W with unthrottled artificial benchmarks.
So far it looks like Thermalright Shaman is the best option for me at the moment as it provides best cooling of VRMs per dB of noise (based on SPCR reviews) and even at the lowest 610 rpm it should (I guess) be able to cool 580 GPU below 85-90 degrees.
Shaman was also my first choice if I were replacing the stock cooler with another air. IIRC, it was also using a PWM fan so it could plug directly into the card's fan plug. The one thing I was worried about was the cooler's depth could short another card I have below it. I wasn't sure the gelid could handle the 250W TDP without ramping up the fan speed to max. Let me know how it goes.

appletree
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:26 pm
Location: Slovakia

Re: GTX 570 / GTX 580 / HD 6970 quiet on air (water maybe) ?

Post by appletree » Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:10 am

LM741C wrote: It's not that bad at idle, unless your goal is silence in a quiet environment
Well, I am just surprised because with the tweaked HD 6850 I could be running Metro2033 and probably couldn't tell from 2 meters if the PC is on/off (in already quiet room)
LM741C wrote: Their tech I contacted said this was normal to prevent tearing.
Yes and there are some up-clocking issues with 120Hz monitors as well.
LM741C wrote: Official TDP is 250W but some sites have measured it at 350W with unthrottled artificial benchmarks.
It's basically the same with 580 and disabled power throttling vs 480. With approx. 10W difference.
LM741C wrote: Shaman was also my first choice if I were replacing the stock cooler with another air.
Does it mean you are deciding between aftermarket air vs. stock cooler or aftermarket water vs. aftermarket air ?
Just curious.
LM741C wrote:Let me know how it goes.
I've found out that there already exists near perfect card
http://www.hardwarezone.com/product-gui ... iew/102468
Unfortunately these are nowhere to be found if not in entire Europe then definitely at least in shops I usually buy from. (not a single Sparkle card of any type) So I've just ordered MSI 580, it will take some time but I'll report back. Hopefully I'll have something better to report than that I've bricked my card. Btw now that I took the time to measure how the card of GTX 580 length (above 26.5 cm will fit inside p182, seems like there won't be enough space for 120mm fan to be mounted into middle GPU position, maybe slim fan could fit, but most likely I will have to mount the fan to the position further from the card (still the middle GPU section just closer to the front of case) I would've much preferred to put it in the originally intended position if it was possible though.
Last edited by appletree on Mon Jan 03, 2011 6:30 am, edited 2 times in total.

LM741C
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:37 pm
Location: C-c-c-california

Re: GTX 570 / GTX 580 / HD 6970 quiet on air (water maybe) ?

Post by LM741C » Sun Jan 02, 2011 9:17 am

appletree wrote: Does it mean you are deciding between aftermarket air vs. stock cooler or aftermarket water vs. aftermarket air ?
Just curious.
I'm going with custom water just for the GPU but I'm willing to reconsider aftermarket air if it does well. The GPU block is the last part I'm waiting for which should arrive next week.

appletree
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:26 pm
Location: Slovakia

Re: GTX 570 / GTX 580 / HD 6970 quiet on air (water maybe) ?

Post by appletree » Mon Jan 03, 2011 3:08 am

LM741C wrote: I'm going with custom water just for the GPU but I'm willing to reconsider aftermarket air if it does well. The GPU block is the last part I'm waiting for which should arrive next week.
Well I guess if you've already ordered everything necessary for water then you are settled. My feelings about water are quite ambivalent: on one hand it is definitely the cleanest and most elegant way to cool 580 which gets rid of all the "hot VRM'' or "cummulated hot air inside the case" and even "heatsink too heavy and bending the PCB" etc. issues, then on the other hand it's also quite impractical and "messy" as I much prefer zero maintenance solutions and idea of refilling, spilling or exchanging water scares me. Also not sure if WC would be quiet enough, pump noise scares me as well. So I would have probably chosen air sink even if if the price was equal with water (which it isn't), maybe I am just not hardcore enough for water (yet) We'll see for my next build :mrgreen:

Post Reply