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1080p gaming rig graphics card question

007ELmO

Platinum Member
Dec 29, 2005
2,051
35
101
Hi,

I wanted to connect my PC to my theater setup/projector to play some steam games/etc.

My AMD 7970 is a jet engine. I drown it out with headphones when I'm playing games, but if I use that PC to connect in my game room, it's going to be a little annoying (since I won't be using headphones there).

So my question is:
What's a better performing graphics card that is quiet?

I plan to build a new rig that just needs to perform well at 1080p resolution. Are the GTS 970s quiet?

Under $500 for the video card, I plan to use MFenn's Midrange build (http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2192841) for the rest of the parts.

Thanks!
Reuben
 
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Tweak155

Lifer
Sep 23, 2003
11,410
242
106
I think the new 970 and 980 cards are probably the most quiet I can recall. I just picked up a 970 by Asus and the fan doesn't even turn on most of the time (some people might not like this, I'm good with it) unless I'm really pushing the card.
 

007ELmO

Platinum Member
Dec 29, 2005
2,051
35
101
Thank you for the quick reply. I will go with the 970 based on your opinion. I can live with some noise but the 7970 is pretty loud, even when running (in my mind, simpler) games like Quake Live.

If you may tell me where you found the ASUS in stock? I'm only seeing Zotac, which is a brand I'm not familiar with. Gigabyte, ASUS, EVGA, etc. I'm Ok with.
 

Tweak155

Lifer
Sep 23, 2003
11,410
242
106
Thank you for the quick reply. I will go with the 970 based on your opinion. I can live with some noise but the 7970 is pretty loud, even when running (in my mind, simpler) games like Quake Live.

If you may tell me where you found the ASUS in stock? I'm only seeing Zotac, which is a brand I'm not familiar with. Gigabyte, ASUS, EVGA, etc. I'm Ok with.
Got mine from MicroCenter. Refreshed it every morning until one was in stock I was OK with buying.
 

007ELmO

Platinum Member
Dec 29, 2005
2,051
35
101
I actually have a MC near me (well, an hour away, but certainly worth the trip) - I'll check if they have any stock locally! Thanks.

Otherwise I'll hit up Zotac.
 

Teizo

Golden Member
Oct 28, 2010
1,271
31
91
MSI Gaming and Gigabyte are extremely quiet. You won't hear them at all unless you overlock and ramp the fan up on purpose.

Asus Strix is good too.
 

007ELmO

Platinum Member
Dec 29, 2005
2,051
35
101
Extremely difficult to find any 970s in stock, lol. Do we believe the R290s are loud? I will hold out for a 970 though, or are they realizing this is selling like hot cakes?

Do we know if the 980 is loud? Although that's also out of stock and about $150 more expensive.

MSI 970 in stock at Amazon for $440. I can do it, but it seems like a decent markup for it? Zotac is $390.

Thanks!
 
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SickBeast

Lifer
Jul 21, 2000
14,377
18
81
What kind of cooling do you have on your 7970? I have a 280x and it's really quiet. It's a Sapphire Dual-X. Perhaps you could just install some aftermarket cooling. The 7970 is still a very capable card for 1080p gaming.
 

SickBeast

Lifer
Jul 21, 2000
14,377
18
81
I will check, but I have the stock Sapphire 7970 cooling, I believe.

This is what I have:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814102961

It's certainly not bad for 1080p gaming, but it's very loud when playing any game.
That's the reference cooler. It will be hot and loud. You should be able to find aftermarket cooling for about $30 and it will make the card silent. That is what I would do personally. You will probably be able to get a better overclock out of it as well.
 

RockinZ28

Platinum Member
Mar 5, 2008
2,173
49
101
Extremely difficult to find any 970s in stock, lol. Do we believe the R290s are loud? I will hold out for a 970 though, or are they realizing this is selling like hot cakes?

Do we know if the 980 is loud? Although that's also out of stock and about $150 more expensive.

MSI 970 in stock at Amazon for $440. I can do it, but it seems like a decent markup for it? Zotac is $390.

Thanks!
Gotta be BS 3rd party sellers? Or is Amazon gouging them as well?

Got both my msi 4G gtx 970s for $320 each with $30 off coupons at the egg.

They are fantastically quiet. I have 2 case fans inside my 800D case, and 6 low rpm fans for two 3x120 rads. Not silent, but not loud either. The only time I've heard the card's fans was when I manually set them to 100% for max oc benchmark runs. Even then they aren't that loud compared to other cards I've had over the years. Never hear them even with a hefty oc on auto fan settings.
 

RussianSensation

Elite Member
Sep 5, 2003
19,458
745
126
Agree - GTX 970. Can't beat the bang for buck.
Used to be true. $330 970 is 22% more expensive than R9 290 but is less than 10% faster. So the bang for the buck rests with the R9 290 now.

OP, if the 7970 provides decent enough performance for you, why don't you just replace the stock cooler with an after-market Accelero one? That's way more cost effective. Otherwise, if you would like an upgrade in performance sell the 7970 and pick up an after-market R9 290/970.

You can also spend $10 more and get the Kraken G10 bracket with Corsair H55. Then you can reuse these components on future GPUs unlike the Accelero cooler.
 

007ELmO

Platinum Member
Dec 29, 2005
2,051
35
101
Hi,

Thanks. The accelero one's reviews are up and down it seems, but if you think it can stay quiet (I don't care about overclocking it), I might try it.

Does anyone else have any $50 or less after market coolers that would be quiet on the 7970 Sapphire? I'd prefer not to spend close to $100, at that point I'll just sell the card and buy a 970, lol.

Thanks!
 

007ELmO

Platinum Member
Dec 29, 2005
2,051
35
101
I'm still debating what to do, I use nowinstock to try and find a gtx 970. the EVGA is now in stock, but I read it has coil whine. I'm trying to get an MSI Gaming or ASUS Strix as I read those seem to be quiet? I'm surprised no store can keep this stuff in stock, like they buy only 2-3 at a time?
 

ZGR

Golden Member
Oct 26, 2012
1,866
284
126
I can't hear the Tri-X cooler unless I push my OC any higher. At stock settings, the vrms peak in the low 70's and the core in the low 60's. I'd recommend it for ~$290 but the high power consumption makes it obsolete compared to the 970.
 

007ELmO

Platinum Member
Dec 29, 2005
2,051
35
101
Right, I kind of want the 970 for power and silence, from what I'm reading. Difficult to find though! EVGA was in stock (as previously mentioned), but some of it's reviews complained of a lot of noise/coil whine.

Thanks!
 
Aug 11, 2008
10,451
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Depending on how demanding you are at 1080p, seems like a 970 might be overkill, not that it isnt a great card at a great price. But maybe something like a 270 to 280x range would be sufficient, depending on how budget conscious you are.
 

007ELmO

Platinum Member
Dec 29, 2005
2,051
35
101
Are AMDs quiet, stock? My 7970 is not.

I'd like a very quiet card. I'd rather not have to modify it afterwards to get quiet. Thanks!
 

SlowSpyder

Lifer
Jan 12, 2005
17,305
998
126
Are AMDs quiet, stock? My 7970 is not.

I'd like a very quiet card. I'd rather not have to modify it afterwards to get quiet. Thanks!

Is your 7970 a reference model with a blower? Those aren't very quiet, I have one. I don't think it is too bad, but obviously that is subjective and I could see how it would be noisy enough to bother someone. There are LOTS of cards out there that are quieter. It isn't so much and AMD vs. Nvidia thing as much as it is a card to card comparison. Many of the aftermarket cards from the different card makers are quiet, regardless of if it is an AMD or Nvidia GPU under the hood.
 

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