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Powercolor HD6950 PCS++ 2GB Review – dual action

Recently we have changed our method of measuring noise levels. We have built a system inside a Lian Li chassis with no case fans and have used a fanless cooler on our CPU. We are using a heatpipe based passive power supply and an Intel SSD to keep noise levels to a minimum. The motherboard is also passively cooled. This gives us a build with completely passive cooling and it means we can measure noise of just the graphics card inside the system when we run looped 3dMark tests. Ambient noise in the room is around 20-25dBa. We measure from a distance of around 1 meter from the chassis and 4 foot from the ground to mirror a real world situation.

Why do this? Well this means we can eliminate secondary noise pollution in the test room and concentrate on only the video card. It also brings us slightly closer to industry standards, such as DIN 45635.

We load the card with FurMark.

KitGuru noise guide
10dBA – Normal Breathing/Rustling Leaves
20-25dBA – Whisper
30dBA – High Quality Computer fan
40dBA – A Bubbling Brook, or a Refridgerator
50dBA – Normal Conversation
60dBA – Laughter
70dBA – Vacuum Cleaner or Hairdryer
80dBA – City Traffic or a Garbage Disposal
90dBA – Motorcycle or Lawnmower
100dBA – MP3 player at maximum output
110dBA – Orchestra
120dBA – Front row rock concert/Jet Engine
130dBA – Threshold of Pain
140dBA – Military Jet takeoff/Gunshot (close range)
160dBA – Instant Perforation of eardrum

Both modes have an idle fan speed setting of 15%, with both fans hardly spinning at all. Under load this rises to around 28% when in full performance mode, and 2% less when set to the HD6950 hardware configuration.

In reality, this card is very quiet and is only really audible when pushed with Furmark for over 5 minutes at a time.

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  • Garth

    really clever idea to have a dual bios preconfigured like this. I know some people dont want to flash their cards due to the risk of killing it and having no comeback.

  • Nick

    Its a really nice idea to be seen as being active like this. they do release some particularly impressive cards in the last year.

  • Frannie

    Their cooler is great, my friend has another card with the same cooler and its very quiet. dual fans always works great.

  • Thomas

    PCB design is good, and although I know they could maybe have used the better memory it would put the price up a good bit.

  • Benjamin

    Im still not sold on their cards, I hear horror stories of their UK support system. which is basically non existant. that is why I go for sapphire, cause I know ill get a replacement if the hardware fails. same for HIS, crap UK support.

  • NeD

    I like their PCS cards, always really well made, but I do echo a feeling of concern in the Uk. I know my wifes brother bought a powercard card years ago and it did fail after 10 months and no one would accept it back. A word of caution for those people buying one in the UK, their local support is not good. (or wasnt ).

  • AMD4EVER

    Their support in USA is very good.