Entirely possible. But as I said before, I have a Founder Edition (so single fan, stock nVidia design) 1070 and it isn’t loud at all. I don’t have a 1060, but I can’t imagine why it would be that much louder than a 1070 unless it had some custom fan setup that was just crazy loud or (as you said) a bad fan or a fan that was running too high unnecessarily. Bad thermals in the cpu case would be another possibility I suppose.
That’s true, I last had AMD with a pair of 7970s. CrossFire didn’t help the noise to be sure.
I looked at them again when the Fury came out but all the reviews said they still trailed in noise and efficiency in addition to performance. I mostly wrote them off mostly because of the inferior driver support. A lot of the slack was picked up by the RadeonPro util writer but I think he’s dropped the project because he’s been hired at AMD recently.
The problem is that “loud” isn’t a very good absolute description.
I have a 1060 from Asus. Any noise made by any other component is drowned out by the GPU fan, regardless of the load. The fans won’t spin down even when the system is totally idle (the fan speed curve can be adjusted, but there’s a fairly high minimum). I’m happy that I play games with headphones on, because I’m pretty sure I’d otherwise find the noise from a fully loaded 1060 to be distracting. So that probably means I consider it loud.
But this is also the first time I’ve had a GPU with a TDP of more than 80W, so my baseline experience is that GPUs should be seen but not heard. People who have been running high end GPUs probably have a very different expectations, and might well consider the same GPU to be rather silent.
Very true. Fwiw, everything in my system is under 25db under normal circumstances.
If your GPU is audible at idle with the case closed, the fan is broken and you should return it immediately. They idle so cool that many modern Nvidia GPUs turn the fan off at idle. My EVGA SC 1080 does this.
At load, if your GPU fan makes a scraping or humming noise, that means it’s bad too. All you should hear is a soft whoosh of air, and the game you’re playing should essentially cover it up.
That’s pretty much my point. It’s not weird to have a “custom fan setup”. All non-reference boards are a custom fan setup. All these partner manufacturers do different things with fan layout and fan speeds and curve so not all work out the same. If you look at various reviews of cards from different manufacturers around the web you will see that they all end up with different dBs (although usually in the same ballpark, but I’ve even recently seen 10dB shifts between implementations if you look at the OC’ed boards). In addition, fans are cheap, cheap components and are going to vary across a manufacturing run.
This is interesting. Apparently they have a vBIOS (I guess that’s basically a firmware update) to decrease the volume. Maybe that will get closer to what stusser is saying.
UPDATE 7/22/2016: EVGA sent over a new ‘FanStop’ vBIOS for the GeForce GTX 1060 SC that allows for semi-passive fan curve and also unlocked full manual control over the fan speed.
[ deleted image which just shows new version of bios in nvidia control panel ]
Old BIOS ID: 86.03.0E.00.00
New BIOS ID: 86.03.0E.00.01
Noise is way down at idle/load, but temps are of course up. We originally got 22C at idle and 60C at load on an open air test system and that was amazing. Now we are getting 37C at idle and 74C at load, but the card is silent at idle and much quieter at load. Noise was 39.8dB idle and 43.4dB load and now they are at 37.9dB idle and 38.4dB at load. Going down 5dB is huge as the decibel scale is logarithmic! We also noticed that the idle power from 96W down to just 94-95W with the fan off, so lower noise, less power and still respectable temperatures. If you wanted to run cooler you could always adjust the fan profile with a utility like EVGA Precision X OC.
Even with the new bios, 37.9dB is going to be audible. Even inside of a closed case. Provided you don’t have louder things going on.
@jsnell Maybe with the EVGA Precision utility (or, I guess for you ASUS’s equivalent) and the new bios you could tune the curve down far enough at the low end (it’s something like 44% minimum which is crazy for this card) to not be so loud. It doesn’t bother me like it bothers you.
38dB isn’t loud by any means but yes that is audible. Of course that assumes it’s a 38dB increase from ambient, not 38dB total.
Anyway if it really is 38dB for the GPU alone, it depends on the sound profile and whether you find it annoying. If it’s a steady air-moving whoosh you may not care.
UPDATE (2016.08.25): I wasn’t aware of that, but EVGA has released a VGA bios especially to bring the 0dB fan to the GTX 1060 SC. This is very cool. You can download the VGA bios from HERE.
So I clicked the link and it was a forum thread of all things to EVGA support people kicking new bioses out to people asking for them, which is interesting. And it was a bios that turned off the fan like stussers. But the techs didn’t end up liking that I guess because there are a lot of scenarios where that will cycle the fan on and off and that is bad for the fan. So now the new bios starts the fan curve down at like 22% and people are saying that it’s way quieter like that.
Guess it’s time to grab a new bios for my GPU.
@jsnell Apparently you can ask for the 0db fan off bios still and support will give it to you. Not sure if ASUS has the same thing for their cards or not.
Yeah, looks like Asus released a bios update fully unlocking the fan control a few weeks ago. I’ll certainly give that a try; previously the minimum fan speed was just so high that the fan curve was basically irrelevant.
(It’s not broken fans; it’s just a lot of air being moved around).
Newegg has a deal for the next 13 hours: MSI RX480 4gb for $185, plus a $25 rebate.
That’s a great deal. But ugh, that fan! The other MSI model scores well for noise, but it’s a different design if I’m looking at it right. http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/msi_radeon_rx_480_gaming_x_review,8.html
True, but the way I had read your prior post (which may have been a mistake on my part) was that low end cooling solutions would be louder. I was thinking that FE would be very much “low end” from that standpoint, but I suppose it’s possible that a card manufacturer could slap a louder single fan on vs FE or that their bios could make the fan louder.
At any rate, all I’m trying to say is that there’s no reason I can see that they ought to be crazy loud, given the reference fan isn’t. You don’t need a super-cooling solution to have a high-performing, reasonably quiet solution with the 1070, and I presumed that held true for the 1060.
The problem is usually when they overclock the chip, which is what most of these manufacturers are doing these days. So the idea that the 3rd parties can do better usually applies to clock speeds, not design and cooling. In fact, they need more cooling but are still limited on space.
The second thing is for this generation, I think both nVidia and AMD sort of knocked it out of the park with the reference design and there’s not a lot of improvement to be had. I mean, the FE isn’t great, but it’s got cool and quiet pretty much covered.
I totally agree. I think the AMD 3rd party manufacturers dropped the ball a bit here. But there’s also a lot of what jsnell said going on. One man’s “crazy loud” hardly registers on another man’s scale as being noisy at all.
Completely incorrect. Of course there’s variance but third-party coolers usually offer far better cooling than the reference design, with comparable noise and lower temps across the board.
The 1080 FE cooler design is very quiet and exhausts outside your case. Those are the advantages. It doesn’t offer great performance compared to third-parties, and is very expensive to boot. The 1070 FE cooler delivers substantially inferior temps, lacking the vapor chamber cooling design in the 1080 FE, and is also overpriced.
Now there is an argument that 3rd party 1070s and 1080s don’t really get higher clocks than the FEs so the better coolers don’t much matter, and that’s completely true. If the FE versions were priced competitively to common third-party versions they would be interesting options. But they aren’t, they’re vastly overpriced. That’s why the only compelling reason to buy a FE today is if you have a small case with poor air circulation.
I’m not trying to say anyone should pay a premium for the FE, my bad.
And I’m not completely incorrect, thank you very much.
You’re right about the 1070, I was thinking of the 1080 when I wrote it.
You made two statements.
3rd parties offer better clocks, not cooling. This is incorrect. 3rd parties typically offer both better clocks and cooling.
“Not a lot of improvements to be had to cooling this generation” is also incorrect. 3rd party coolers typically offer dramatically better performance, well over 20 C. Now that doesn’t matter a whole heck of a lot on the 1080, true, but they are much better.
I bought the FE because an impeller cooler is needed for my cooling setup (mobo rotated 90 degrees w/card slots are at the top of the case) and they are getting more and more difficult to find. I knew there were some coming, but chose not to wait and paid a premium for it.
Yes, if you have a tiny case or one with poor air circulation the FE is a solid choice. Most third-parties don’t offer blower coolers.
Neither is the case with my build (case is huge and airflow is excellent) but it’s a quirk of the build. An open-style cooler would mess with the cooling efficiency in the rest of the case because all of the airflow is directed bottom to top.