When graphics cards produce a lot of heat, usually that heat needs to be transported away from the hot core as fast as possible. Often you'll see massive active fan solutions that can indeed get rid of the heat, yet all the fans these days make the PC a noisy son of a gun. Do remember that the test we do is extremely subjective. We bought a certified dBA meter and will start measuring how many dBA originate from the PC. Why is this subjective you ask? Well, there is always noise in the background, from the streets, from the HD, PSU fan etc etc, so this is by a mile or two an imprecise measurement. You could only achieve objective measurement in a sound test chamber.
The human hearing system has different sensitivities at different frequencies. This means that the perception of noise is not at all equal at every frequency. Noise with significant measured levels (in dB) at high or low frequencies will not be as annoying as it would be when its energy is concentrated in the middle frequencies. In other words, the measured noise levels in dB will not reflect the actual human perception of the loudness of the noise. That's why we measure the dBA level. A specific circuit is added to the sound level meter to correct its reading in regard to this concept. This reading is the noise level in dBA. The letter A is added to indicate the correction that was made in the measurement. Frequencies below 1kHz and above 6kHz are attenuated, whereas frequencies between 1kHz and 6kHz are amplified by the A weighting.
TYPICAL SOUND LEVELS
Jet takeoff (200 feet)
Shout (5 feet)
Heavy truck (50 feet)
Normal conversation (3 feet)
Bedroom at night
There's a lot of differences in measurements amongst websites. Some even place the dBA meter 10cm away from the card. Considering that's not where your ear is located, we do it our way.
For each dBA test we close the PC/chassis and move the dBA gun 75 cm away from the PC. Roughly the same proximity you'll have from a PC in a real-world situation. Above, the IDLE (desktop mode) results where the GPU hardly has to do anything.
The Idle results are brilliant, the fan will even turn itself off when the GPU idles.
For the card in a fully stressed status (in-game) 38~39 DBA, that is to be considered a card very silent, barely audible. Overall a very good result alright. Especially with a factory overclocked product.
BTW I've seen some reviews complain about higher noise levels under load. These are the reviews that use FurMark to stress the card, and that's not comparable to game stress.
MSI Radeon R7 370 GAMING 2G Review We review the AMD Radeon R7-370 series in the form of the MSI Radeon R7 370 GAMING 2G Review. That means 1080P gaming will become in reach at an affordable 149 Euro/ USD price level. We test the MSI...
MSI Radeon R9 380 Gaming 2G review In this review we look at the MSI Radeon R9 380 Gaming. Armed with a Twinfrozr cooler this product brings you mainstream gaming at a price of roughly 200 USD - With 2GB and 4GB options of graphics ...
MSI Radeon R9 390X Gaming 8G OC review We review the MSI Radeon R9 390X Gaming 8G OC edition. The cards equipped with that renamed Hawaii GPU, now called Grenada. Thanks to a huge triple slot air cooler based on the TwinFrozr V design the ...
MSI Radeon R9-290X Lightning review This review will cover the MSI Radeon R9-290X Lightning, this graphics card is considered the beast that rules them all. With a PCB redesigned from ground up and usage of only the best components ..