We measure graphics card acoustic emissions using a dedicated, passively-cooled system. The fan speed level at each point of interest is recorded when the card is in our test system. This fan speed is then manually set using the passively-cooled system and the noise output is recorded.
We measure at a distance of around 12 inches from the card and 12 inches above it. While this is arguably not the most realistic test scenario for acoustic emissions, it allows us to record perceivable difference in the cards’ noise outputs while staying within the operating range of our recording hardware.
KitGuru noise guide
10dBA – Normal Breathing/Rustling Leaves
20-25dBA – Whisper
30dBA – High Quality Computer fan
40dBA – A Bubbling Brook, or a Refrigerator
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
It is practically impossible to notice any noise difference between any of the real-world fan operating states of either Palit’s or Asus’ cards.
At full fan speed, the Palit card is slightly quieter, although we see no reason why the fans will ever hit 100% – we recorded a 56% maximum throughout testing.