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If you are familiar with the CUDA hack (tweaking the cuda_supported_cards.txt file), the GTX 560 Ti 448 is a better value than the GTX 570. However, I do have a couple of reservations for the Twin Frozr models or any other model equipped with anything but Nvidia's reference GPU cooler: These super-cooled graphics cards may heat up the inside of the case more than normal, which may hinder overclockability of a system equipped with a CPU that's easily overclockable. If you do get a Twin Frozr, make sure that you have a large, roomy case with great cooling capability (a Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced is great for this; a CM 690 II might not suffice). If your current case is cramped on the inside with relatively poor cooling, then hold off on the Twin Frozr or any other card with upgraded coolers (or stick with cards with reference coolers) until you upgrade the case.
Thanks for contributing your valuable insight! I only have a Lian Li midi tower, but it is fairly well cooled with fans at the front and back. Does Twin Frozr and similar fans really heat up the case enough to make a difference, even at stock GPU speed? Is the reference cooler noisy in comparison, particularly in idle mode?
The reference cooler can be noisy under load.
And yes, the Twin Frozr and similar fans do heat up the inside of the PC's case more than usual - but that's due to their almost completely open designs that allow most of the heat to go into the rest of the case rather than directly out the rear of the graphics card's backplane (the reference cooler routes almost all of the hot air produced by the GPU to go out the back of the card due to its fully-enclosed design).
As for case cooling, 120mm and/or 140mm fans might still not be enough regardless of the number. 80mm fans (as used in older cases) are even worse. With these hot-running GPUs you really want a case with at least two 230mm fans in addition to various smaller-sized fans to be cooled sufficiently.
Hmm... it's a shame the quietest cooler has its drawbacks in my case (pun intended) :/ I think I shall seek assistance in a hardware-specific forum such as Anandtech, to figure out the right card. Thanks again!
If you think very large-diameter fans are noisy, you are partially correct: They are noisier than smaller fans at equal RPMs - but that small disadvantage is more than compensated for by being quieter than smaller fans at every given CFM (cubic feet per minute) of air circulation. This is because larger fans can run at significantly lower RPMs to attain equal air circulation compared to smaller-diameter fans. As a result, your so-called "quiet" 80mm to 120mm fans have to work much harder than larger fans just to attain the same air circulation (and thus the same airflow).
I wasn't talking about larger diameter fans at all. I'm constrained by my midi tower case, where I can only fit 120mm fans if I'm not mistaken.
I appreciate the effective and quiet cooling provided by MSI's non-reference designs. I don't have the exact card you mention, but have a system with a MSI GTX 460 Hawk (twin fans, similar to the Frozr design) and it performs WAY quieter than the GTX 260 reference card I had prior to that. I would not be worried at all regarding noise and cooling with 120mm case fans. When comparing how much air 120mm fans can move to clear video card (and CPU) heat from your case vs. the reference GTX cards pushing air through a VERY tiny space, you can expect quieter and more effective cooling with the Frozer. The only possible caveat that I can think of with the Frozr is that you need at lease 1/2" of space in front of both fans so that air can easily enter the fans. If you have a motherboard / PCIe situation where you need to put a card immediately next to the Frozr, then you should go with a reference design; I suspect that gamers wanting 2, 3, or even 4 video cards running in SLI has a lot to do with why the various "big fan" designs are not more common in the market.
Additional to the cooling subject being discussed so far, there is another Newegg listed GTX 560Ti listed with less cores but 2GB of video RAM. Depending on if you ever edit anything with large frame needs such as large photos in video slide shows or RED 4k, etc., possibly the larger video buffer would be more advantageous to you system than the one you mention above that has a slightly higher core count.
One problem with that, Jim, is that not all 120mm fans are equal. The absolute quietest of 120mm fans move almost no air at all whatsoever. And the ones that move enough air for higher-end CPUs and GPUs tend to be somewhat noisy.
The other problem is that the OP's system might have had the absolute quietest of case fans installed. In that case, don't expect much in the way of airflow; in fact, these ultra-quiet fans actually move less air than the average 80mm fan (however lackluster the smaller fans perform).
No, not all 120mm fans are the same and that is indeed an opportunity, not a problem. Take the Scythe Gentle Typhoon series for example; this is just one model of "quiet" fan by a reputable manufacturer and they have 500, 800, 1150, 1450, and 1850 rpm models. For a video editing case only the 1150, 1450, and 1850 models probably make sense, but none of these are particularly loud and they are all significantly quieter than a reference series GTX video card running over 60% of maximum rpm. Sure, fan size makes a difference, but you cannot ignore the restriction to flow of the reference GTX line and what that does to the sound level for a particular BTU level of cooling.
Note too that video editing PCs using CS5/5.5 completely max. out the CPU, but may only load the GPU to about 1/3 of its maximum output. When you read gamer's test reports, they are taxing the GPU more and the CPU less than with do with Adobe.
I had mistakenly thought that all fans of the same size that operate at the same number of RPM were equally loud. Well, it turned out that they still vary between brands and models due to differences in the design. For example, SilenX is way overrated in terms of quietness: Their fan housings often resonate excessively with the fan's rotations (that is, the natural resonant frequency of the SilenX fan frame is well within the operating RPM range of the fan itself).
To the OP:
I had overstated the impact of the hotter-discharging coolers on the deluxe cards on case temperatures. This is only a problem if the case is especially poor in airflow (such as those older cases with only two 80mm fans total) or in a case with imbalanced airflow (especially the intake being much weaker than the exhaust, in which case the exhaust will feel significantly hotter than normal). In reality, the in-case temperatures rise by only about 2 to 3 degrees C. In normal cases with standard airflow capability, this might reduce the maximum stable overclock of an otherwise easily overclockable system by about 100MHz or so (for example, you might get only 4.2 or 4.3 GHz instead of 4.4 GHz out of the CPU).
I don't remember the exact brand of fans, except that they're top quality. Also, the case allows choosing between three different fan speeds, currently I'm running at the lowest level, which is pretty much whisper quiet. Perhaps I should try medium speed instead, full speed sounds a bit too noisy for my liking.
RjL190365: I'm very relieved to hear that the Twin Frozr cooler has less impact on case temperature than first stated. I hate the thought of installing a noisy graphics card, as I've been blessed with a fairly quiet solution for years now. I've got a hefty CPU cooler too, the Noctua NH-U12P, which is pretty damn good at keeping the temperature down. While I've overclocked the CPU quite a bit (from 2.6 to 3.4 I think), I seem to recall it doesn't get very hot (haven't measured in a while though).
Although currently it seems the Twin Frozr would integrate well into my system, I think I'll do some extra checking on a hardware-oriented forum such as Anand, to make sure I'm making the right choice. Thanks again guys, I appreciate your help a lot!
Thanks for clarifying where you were coming from.
Good fans do indeed help keep the noise down while still moving enough air for the particular service that they are providing. For 120/140mm sizes two good ones for audio/video editing PCs are:
- Scythe "Gentle Typhoon" series
- Noctua NF-P12 FLX, NF-P14 FLX
I'm sure there are others too, but both of these were highly recommended and I've used both before. Of course, they are some of the most expensive options
On the topic of fan speed (Arve mentions a 3-spd. switch for his) I would really like a totally rock-solid, software controlled variable speed fan capability for my rig, but when I was researching this a few months ago the Aquaero looked promising, but it is awfully pricey.