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 Post subject: New PC For Friend - Quiet Video Card w/ Great Performance?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:30 am 
8086
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Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 9:25 am
Posts: 82
Location: Michigan
As the title says, while I'm in the midst of building my new rig, a friend has just had his mobo die, and needs my assistance to build him a new one. It simply makes no sense to try to upgrade his old unit.

His requirements don't differ too much from mine, with one exception. He is a huge music and audio aficianado, as was his father, who left him an amazing audio system when he passed away some time back. His pc is located in the same room as his audio system, and so, during normal use (non gaming) he needs a quiet pc, and by extension, a quiet video card.

He does do some gaming (currently WOW) but is awaiting Diablo III and especially Skyrim, which he wants to be able to play with all of the bells and whistles. The noise produced by the pc isn't important during gaming, simply when he is surfing the net, working on the pc, etc. and listening to his audio system.

What I've specced out for his pc is exactly what I am doing for my new build, although I am going with a case known for being quiet, and a high quality, but very quiet power supply and HSF. His system will be based around an i5 2500K. His budget can handle $400.00 for the video card.

What I am just not sure about is the best video option given his gaming needs. I'm going with a 6950, for my system, which I will overclock significantly, but overclocking means fan noise, so thats not the best option for him. I'm thinking maybe this, since its supposedly almost silent:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814161385

review:

http://www.legionhardware.com/articl..._turbo,10.html


Or posibly two of these?

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/rev...erclock_review


I would greatly appreciate your assistance with recommendations and options. You guys are the experts. Thanks.


JC


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 Post subject: Re: New PC For Friend - Quiet Video Card w/ Great Performan
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:04 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 11:07 pm
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FYI, the two last links don't work.


I've got two audiophile fanatic friends who are crazy about the perfect audio. These friends are fun to have, but honestly they seem way too anal over a few decibels. One works at a recording studio and the other is my sound guy for on-location video/sound recording. I will tell you this, both play games and both have completely separate systems for recording and playing video games.

Their recording PC's both use passive PSU, CPU and GPU coolers to reduce the ambient noise levels of their PC's. One just recently got rid of all of his normal mechanical drives and opted for ssd's, but uses a NAS in another room for his storage needs. Their recording PC's won't win any bench marking awards, but for near silent operation for just sound recording, its marvelous.

My video/sound guy, he has his gaming PC located in the next room and uses long cables because he can't stand playing L4D2 with his PC blaring below him. It's funny cause he hates playing games on my PC. I always say, just use a headset if it bothers you. lol


But that doesn't mean your friend would have to go to extreme lengths to reduce fan noise. Just getting a good aftermarket CPU cooler like the CM 212+ is very very quiet, even quieter if you pair it with good 120mm fans. And your case does make a world of difference in audible decibels; look for cases that have sound proofing builtin or otherwise you can do this yourself using DIY foam padding kits. MaxPC had a article just on this topic I believe last year so check the archives.

The biggest sound makers is going to be the GPU. It's going to be hard to find an uber fast gpu that doesn't use a loud blower type cooler. One of the best and quietest GPU on the market is the new nvidia GTX 560ti's, while they aren't in the same power league as the $400 6970's, it's also the questest gaming gpu at idle and load. It puts out about 37db on load, which beats a lot of 6900 series card at idle! Get a good 560ti with an aftermarket cooler like the MSi Twin Frozr or EVGA SC cards and you should see some good results while playing your modern games at relatively good frame rates.

Don't get me wrong, the HIS 6970 is a power and quiet card at 36db at idle and 40db at load. Personally the cost of it is hard to justify it over other cards in it's class. I'd look at a 6950 for $100+ cheaper like the MSi Twin Frozr II card. They use military grade lvl 2 components and it runs much cooler over reference boards, plus they have a good OC headroom if needed. And the fact that a lot of 6950's are able to unlock their dies to become 6970's is pretty nice.


If he is very particular that he can't live with 40-45db coming from his computer, he can take the steps of water cooling the whole rig and use a very large 3 or 4 fan radiator setup and use ultra quiet 120mm fans. But that's another extreme measure and will cost $$$.


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 Post subject: Re: New PC For Friend - Quiet Video Card w/ Great Performan
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:36 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 9:25 am
Posts: 82
Location: Michigan
Thanks JBaz,

I greatly appreciate your thoughts. Not sure why the links don't work for you, they are okay when I open them in the thread.

JC


Last edited by SwordOne on Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New PC For Friend - Quiet Video Card w/ Great Performan
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:11 pm 
Million Club - 2 Plus
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Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 11:07 pm
Posts: 2622
Location: NC
the links have ... in them. Common for forums to shorten them for hyperlinks if you copied them from another forum or link else where instead of the actual url.
Code:
http://www.legionhardware.com/articl..._turbo,10.html
http://www.maximumpc.com/article/rev...erclock_review


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