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post #1 of 24 Old 12-13-2006, 05:52 AM - Thread Starter
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If anyone is considering this card for their HTPC, realize it is extremely loud. Because of the design, there is now way to control the fan via software, so it has speeds of 20% or 100%, and nothing else. The unfortunate part is that the 100% speed is not reserved solely for full load. On the contrary, 100% speeds can be activated when virtually any application is launched. For instance, simply opening the config tab for GBPVR from a blank desktop launches the fan into 100% mode. That mode is LOUD. Budget in extra cash for aftermarket coolers. Also, this trigger from the fan controller will happen for any aftermarket cooler, so make sure whatever you buy is not loud at full fan speed.
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post #2 of 24 Old 12-13-2006, 06:15 AM
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Water Cooling - the only way to make a totally silent, high powered, HTPC...
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post #3 of 24 Old 12-13-2006, 06:47 AM
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you dont need watercooling....

Look into XFX's 7950GT HDCP Extreme Edition which is fanless and slightly higher clockspeeds..

Reviews say its solid...
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post #4 of 24 Old 12-13-2006, 10:42 AM
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I have mine cooled by an Arctic cooling Rev 3 VGA cooler and the noise is acceptable (not audible at all from my watching position which is about 13 feet away from the PC). Did have to mod the cooler to make it work (the cooler duct is about 0.5" too long and had to be sawed off)
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post #5 of 24 Old 12-13-2006, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrzVpr View Post

you dont need watercooling....

Look into XFX's 7950GT HDCP Extreme Edition which is fanless and slightly higher clockspeeds..

Reviews say its solid...

Be carefull, there are FIVE versions of XFX 7950GT in distribution today. All the XFX part numbers are in the format "PV-T71J-YHD9" and the versions are distinguished from one another by the last four digits:

YPF7 is the original fansink 7950GT at reference clock speeds (550Mhz GPU/1.4Ghz memory)
YHF9 is the fanless version at reference clock speeds
YPE7 is the slight factory overclock with fansink (570Mhz GPU/1.46Ghz memory)
YHE9 is the fanless slight factory overclock board
YHD9 is the extreme factory overclock fanless (610Mhz GPU, 1.6Ghz memory)

They all five produce a lot of heat, as you might expect of a hot G71 GPU and 512MB of DDR3 memory. The extreme version is a 10-11% overclock but the heat output is non-linear at +25-30%. The reference board produces 184 watts heat and the overclock is over 200 watts, almost in 8800 territory.

Try to find a reference speed board for HTPC, and use an overclock board only for gaming. The faster boards are flakier and hotter.

Gary

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post #6 of 24 Old 12-13-2006, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary McCoy View Post

Be carefull, there are FIVE versions of XFX 7950GT in distribution today. All the XFX part numbers are in the format "PV-T71J-YHD9" and the versions are distinguished from one another by the last four digits:...
Gary

Thanks very much for your XFX 7950 GT related posts Gary, they are very much appreciated. I haven't seen these kinds of incredibly useful details about this card anywhere else.
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post #7 of 24 Old 12-13-2006, 01:27 PM
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There are even more part numbers if you take into account the international markets. For instance, mine is:
PV-T71J-YHEX -- which is the European version of the XT (factory overclocked to 570 MHz) & fanless model.

The XFX heatpipe is very well designed; it's barely lukewarm to the touch in my system. Idle temp is steady at 43-45° C after a week of uptime. My case is an Antec P180 with 5 quiet Papst 120 mm fans (40 CFM, 1250 RPM, 18 dBA).

Unless you'll be using a really cramped case with little or no ventilation, I wouldn't worry too much about the card's temperature. It's not going to overheat on you.
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post #8 of 24 Old 12-13-2006, 01:39 PM
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"Five quiet fans" in the case alone doesn't sound like a typical HTPC.

The five part numbers I gave are the US retail packages. The other part numbers reflect other games bundled in other countries. Sometimes you can also buy a card in an OEM form with no games bundled. Thanks for pointing that out.

Abstrakt, I'm curious as to what CPU you used and what CPU cooler. I am considering adding a ThermalTake SonicTower to my case since the Intel fansink is the noisiest remaining part. However I confess to some doubts about passive cooling a modern CPU, even with a case fan (I only have one case fan plus a dual fan power supply).

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post #9 of 24 Old 12-13-2006, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
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I am going to order the Thermalright HR-03 and a quiet 92mm fan. That should bring the noise down below ambient. As it is now, you can hear the fan at any point on our first floor, no matter what room you are in. This is inside an Antec P180 with quiet fans on fan controllers. I called EVGA to beeotch at them for marketing such an inappropriate product for TV playback use. They said sorry, its NVIDIA's reference design fault and you are SOL--buy an aftermarket cooler. Thanks EVGA.
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post #10 of 24 Old 12-13-2006, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Gary--I'll throw in my 2 cents on the coolers. In my Antec case, I have a C2D e6600 at stock speed, with the Thermalright SI-128, and a Panaflo 120x38mm fan turned way down with a fan controller. It is essentially silent. In another Antec P180 case with a AMD 64 X2 4400+, I have the Thermalright HR-01 with duct connected to one of my case fans. It works excellent. I have also used that with no duct, and the two 120mm case fans on low, blowing in instead of out. It still stays cool, even under load.
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post #11 of 24 Old 12-13-2006, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary McCoy View Post

Abstrakt, I'm curious as to what CPU you used and what CPU cooler. I am considering adding a ThermalTake SonicTower to my case since the Intel fansink is the noisiest remaining part. However I confess to some doubts about passive cooling a modern CPU, even with a case fan (I only have one case fan plus a dual fan power supply).

Hi Gary,

I'm using a Core 2 Duo E6600 cooled by a Scythe Infinity HSF. I replaced the stock 120 mm Scythe fan with yet another Papst 120 mm fan. As you may have guessed by now, I'm rather fond of these fans. They are virtually inaudible (to me), while still moving a respectable amount of air for such low RPM and noise figures.

My CPU is running at stock speeds -- I don't overclock -- and the idle temperature is steady at 35-36° C after a week of uptime. The Core 2 Duo is the coolest-running modern CPU I've owned thus far.

The Scythe Infinity is a huge tower heatsink though. It wasn't a concern to me because the Antec P180 has ample room for it, but if you need to use a lower profile HTPC case it might not fit. That's another reason why I still favor large midtower cases for my HTPC builds
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post #12 of 24 Old 12-13-2006, 05:21 PM
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I originally had the EVGA 7950 GT KO in my HTPC. It worked great, no complaints. I actually thought the fan was quiet (enough for me at least.)

I have now 'upgraded' to EVGA 750 GT KO Superclocked. I regret the upgrade. The fan in this is way louder than the non Superclocked version. Definately stick with the regular version if you're building a HTPC.
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post #13 of 24 Old 12-19-2006, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary McCoy View Post

The reference board produces 184 watts heat and the overclock is over 200 watts, almost in 8800 territory.

This is apprently incorrect. X-bit labs - Nvidia GeForce 7950 GT Graphics Card Review measured the actual power consumption of the card by a clever method:

Quote:
The mainboard in this testbed is modified: measuring shunts are connected inline into the power lines of the PCI Express x16 slot. The shunts have connectors for measuring instruments. The 2xMolex → PCI Express power adapter is also equipped with such a shunt. We perform our measurements with a Velleman DVM850BL multimeter that has a measurement accuracy of 0.5%.

The actual power consumption of GeForce 9750 GT is
  • 25.8W at idle
  • 37.3W at 2D peak
  • 61.1W at 3D peak

These values coincide with values measured at various sites, for example, neoseeker - XFX 7950 GT XT: the power consumption of the entire system at load is 189W (just add up CPU: ~40W, DRAM: ~10W, GPU: ~61W or more as overclocked, mb: ~30W, HDD: ~10W etc). 61W power draw is not particularly bad. Personally I prefer active cooling using Zalman cooler (with Superclocked eVGA!), however. 61W is almost the same as Core 2 Duo (65W) and almost nobody wants to use passive cooling for C2D.

The power consumption of GeForce 8800 GTX under max load is 145.5W according to NVIDIA (X-bit labs - Directly Unified: Nvidia GeForce 8800 Architecture Review; X-bit labs could not measure actual power draw because of the incompatibility of the card with the test bed). GeForce 8800 GTS is modest (?) 120W. These values agree with measurements at review sites such as The Tech Report.
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post #14 of 24 Old 12-19-2006, 09:19 AM
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leadtek 7950 gt extreme edition has a fan but is almost noiseless. I read in a review that it was the most quiet one of the test.
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post #15 of 24 Old 12-19-2006, 09:40 AM
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Leadtek WinFast PX7950 GT TDH Extreme

Core/Mem: 600/1430 MHz,

the same as Superclocked eVGA. Which review are you referring to?
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post #16 of 24 Old 12-19-2006, 09:40 AM
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The wattages I quoted were from the original AnandTech article on Blu-Ray disk playback:

http://anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2874&p=20

You are correct I believe, as I now see this comment in the section 3D Acceleration Power Consumption: "To test the power load of these cards during 3D acceleration, we recorded the total wattage of the system with each of the cards installed while the system was idle for reference (i.e. no programs running), and then we recorded the total wattage of the system while running a few of the demos from 3DMark06. "

Whereas before I just read the section Blu-Ray Playback Power Consumption : "We took power reading in the same way as with CPU utilization: by playing back about a minute of video from our Blu-Ray movie "Click." We are also interested in seeing the kinds of power loads these cards have when hardware acceleration is disabled in order to see the contrast between power loads. "

Thanks for pointing that out. It is reassuring to note that during disk playback the heat output is on the low side. If system cooling is adequate for game playing then the system should be fine during prolonged use for HD playback.

Gary

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post #17 of 24 Old 12-19-2006, 12:39 PM
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post #18 of 24 Old 12-20-2006, 03:51 AM
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Unfotunately the reviews in the above did not do any objective noize level test.

Bjorn3d.com: "Very quiet but effective cooling".

Hardware Zone: "noise and heat output - are somewhat moot for the Leadtek as its cooler is basically the same as the one on the Leadtek Extreme version of the GeForce 7900 GS and we had no complaints about these aspects of the card."

It is hard to tell how quiet it is from these comments.
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post #19 of 24 Old 12-20-2006, 07:38 AM
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Also be aware, evga has a sticker under the fan. I do not have a 7950 but from what I have been told all of them have this. I had a 7300GT that was pretty loud and discovered this sticker. I used a pair of tweezers to pull it out and Viloa no more noise. I have inquired over the last couple of months on other BB and discovered that this sticker is on all evga cards under the fan. You might want to pull the card out and check it.
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post #20 of 24 Old 12-20-2006, 09:25 AM
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I bought a BFG 7950 and it not only was loud it added so much heat into my HTPC case that my Ultra X2 power supply's (550w) 120mm fan would run full speed all the time after about 1/2hour of video playback.

I looked in to differenct avenues of cooling and ended up buying a Zalman RESP 1
fanless water cooling kit. The kit added with the Northbridge heat exchanger will cool my CPU, Northbridge and GPU totally silent. It acually removes the heat out of my case and now my PS fan stays on low and my case temps dropped dramatically.

I would highly remomdend that anyone that can afford it to go water cooling.
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post #21 of 24 Old 12-20-2006, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Unfotunately the reviews in the above did not do any objective noize level test.

Bjorn3d.com: "Very quiet but effective cooling".

Hardware Zone: "noise and heat output - are somewhat moot for the Leadtek as its cooler is basically the same as the one on the Leadtek Extreme version of the GeForce 7900 GS and we had no complaints about these aspects of the card."

It is hard to tell how quiet it is from these comments.

As long as you have a case size that can tolerate it, the XFX 7950GT is completely silent. You do need good air circulation. I am going to try enlarging the hole for my single front case fan from 80mm to 120mm and running a passive CPU cooler in mine. Carefull measurement says that although I could not manage the Scythe "Infinity" mentioned by Abstrakt above, I can just fit the Scythe "Ninja".

Gary

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post #22 of 24 Old 12-20-2006, 10:23 AM
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Gary, which case are using? Using Ninja (H150 mm without a fan) is a good idea. I guess Infinity (H160 mm with or without a fan) does not fit in any desktop case (
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post #23 of 24 Old 12-20-2006, 10:59 AM
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I am using a minitower case laid out for a uATX board. I have upgraded the power supply and am using an Intel D945GPM uATX motherboard. I will be using externally self-powered peripherals (USB2 HD-DVD and HDHomeRun dual ATSC tuner) to keep as much heat as possible outside the case. I have two open PCI and one open PCIe 1x slots - I'm still unsure that the onboard 7.1 channel Intel sound will serve me for the new disk formats. There is an available 5.25" bay when writeable Blu-Ray drives become affordable.

My end objectives are both HD-DVD and BR-DVD movie playback with dual tuner ATSC DVR functionality, in a small quiet machine that supports 1080p, so that I can leave the current HTPC powered off.

Gary

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post #24 of 24 Old 04-05-2007, 04:44 PM
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I just purchased the EVGA 7950GT KO (not Superclocked) and it has the same problem: whenever I start video playback, the fan would immediately kick into LOUD FULL speed. I contacted EVGA and their solution was for me to try and adjust the fan speed with ATITool. Um, no thanks.
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