Ever since the release today of the GeForce GTX 400 series there has been much discussion regarding the noise levels the cards make under load. Especially the GTX 480 is topic of much discussion. Some sites show numbers up in the 60 to 70 DBa, which honestly is really too subjective.
TYPICAL SOUND LEVELS
Jet takeoff (200 feet)
Shout (5 feet)
Heavy truck (50 feet)
Normal conversation (3 feet)
Bedroom at night
What happens is that people measure differently and often subjectively. If you place a DBa gun a CM away from the graphics card ventilator then sure, you record really high noise levels. But if you play games, do you place your ear directly on the air exhaust ? Of course not, that just does not make sense to us.
We measure real-life conditions. That means we take a distance of 75cm from the PC and place a DBa gun pointed at the PC. We assume your PC chassis is closed and not open, so is ours. Now to proof to you that the GTX 480 is noisy, but definitely not what some media make it claim to be. I made two video's of the GTX 480 in idle and under heavy stress with Furmark.
The end result is A PC creating roughly as much noise as say a GeForce GTX 295. And again, we are not disputing that this isn't noisy, contrary .. it is noisy alright. But to say it's at a the level of 60~70 DBa makes no sense.
Have a look and listen to the videos.
Above video shows the GeForce GTX 480 in IDLE = ~ 37 DBa.
Above video shows the GeForce GTX 480 heavily stressed with Furmark = ~ 45 DBa
And that my friends is how we measure. We are not saying that other websites are wrong in their measurements, no Sir. We measure in a real-life situation, and that's roughly the distance where your ears are positioned.
There is one more note I like to make, some sites made videos of the noise levels as well, and it is banging noisy. Just like our video, a video camera will always compensate and increase microphone levels when needed. Making that recording sound out of proportion.
Add to that this, if the only sound recorded is the noise of the PC, at what volume should you play it back to be able to have that volume level representative of what the noise levels really are ?
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