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  • Quiet video cards

    What, in your humble opinion, is the fastest video card that does not use a fan? I am in the market but do not want any fan noise. Thank y'all in advance.

  • #2
    Are you talking gaming performance? If so PowerColor has a passively cooled HD 5670 and HD 5750. As far as I know the HD 5750 is the fastest passively cooled card available. I just purchased a PowerColor HD 5670 for my HTPC and I love it. I'm not using it for gaming but I did run a few benchmark tests on it. PerformanceTest 7 rates my HD 5670's 3D performance faster than the 8800GT in my gaming system. I have yet to see a game I can't play with most if not all eye candy turned up at 1440x900 resolution. Crysis and FarCry 2 run smooth with med/high settings. The HD 5750 should allow you to play any game at up to 1920x1080 resolution. At or near max settings as long as you have a medium to high end CPU and plenty of RAM. See Passmark GPU chart.

    Keep in mind these cards take up 2 slots and are deeper than a normal card do to the cooler design. You will need better case cooling than a 2 slot card that exhausts out the back. To get good case cooling and be quiet at the same time is a balancing act. I used two Nexus 80mm silent case fans and a cheap fan controller to find the sweet spot. I would have preferred 120 mm Nexus fans but the case I have only accepts 80mm fans. Using OCCT GPU test my HD 5670 never gets over 75C at 30C case temp. IMO very impressive. PowerColor has a hit on there hands.
    Last edited by wonderwrench; 05-02-2010, 09:17 PM.
    Main Box*i7 4790K*Z97 Extreme 6*2x8 gigs Crucial BS DDR3-1600*Samsung 850 Pro 128 gig*WD Black WD2002FAEX 2 TB*ASUS DRW-24B3LT*LG HL-DT-ST BD-RE*Corsair AX750 PSU*Fractal Design Define R4 case*Windows 7 Pro 64 bit SP1

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    • #3
      Yes, just becuase some of these cards don't have a fan, doesn't mean they run cool.

      My fanless video card is too hot to touch, even at idle with good case cooling.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by passmark View Post
        Yes, just becuase some of these cards don't have a fan, doesn't mean they run cool.

        My fanless video card is too hot to touch, even at idle with good case cooling.
        Yes most passively cooled cards always run hot. The PowerColor HD 5670 and 5750 use a huge heat pipe cooler. The idle temps are only about 10C over case temp. OCCT GPU stress test creates more heat than any game ever could. My HD 5670 only hits 74C at 30C case temp. Many actively cooled cards run hotter. My EVGA 8800GT SSC idles at 60C+ and easily hits over 80C while gaming at 25-30C case temp. Under full load the noise the fan makes will nearly rip your face off. Any higher end card that does not vent heat out of the case will require good case cooling.
        Main Box*i7 4790K*Z97 Extreme 6*2x8 gigs Crucial BS DDR3-1600*Samsung 850 Pro 128 gig*WD Black WD2002FAEX 2 TB*ASUS DRW-24B3LT*LG HL-DT-ST BD-RE*Corsair AX750 PSU*Fractal Design Define R4 case*Windows 7 Pro 64 bit SP1

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        • #5
          WW & PM, Thanks for your fast responses. When I am awake I will check out PowerCooler. Also, I will see if there is any airflow directly over the vid card location. Now that you mention it, does the vid card heat output wear out either the vid card or the MB slot it is plugged into?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by SmartyPants View Post
            WW & PM, Thanks for your fast responses. When I am awake I will check out PowerCooler. Also, I will see if there is any airflow directly over the vid card location. Now that you mention it, does the vid card heat output wear out either the vid card or the MB slot it is plugged into?
            It would be nice if it had direct air flow but its really not needed with the cooler PowerColor is using on these cards. I do not have any direct air flow.
            Good overall case cooling more important. Two 80 mm or larger fans one as intake one exhaust should be fine. Nexus fans are claimed to be very quiet yet still have decent air flow. If the case has restricted intake and exhaust grills like many cases do a mod may be in order. These are the 80 mm fans I used and they are not dead silent at full speed but almost.
            Main Box*i7 4790K*Z97 Extreme 6*2x8 gigs Crucial BS DDR3-1600*Samsung 850 Pro 128 gig*WD Black WD2002FAEX 2 TB*ASUS DRW-24B3LT*LG HL-DT-ST BD-RE*Corsair AX750 PSU*Fractal Design Define R4 case*Windows 7 Pro 64 bit SP1

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            • #7
              Hot chips have a shorter lifespan. But as the lifespan is poorly defined to start with, it is pretty impossible to know by how much. You might lose 10 years off a 20 year life. But other components (like capacitors) will probably fail before the chips themselves.

              Heat also make componets unstable. And this is more of an issue than 'wear'.

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              • #8
                How does a passively cooled video card work? How does it keep cool without a fan?

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                • #9
                  Normally with a large heat sink.

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