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Asus GTX680 Graphics Card Review

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 closed 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.

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

AMD could learn a thing or two from this reference cooler. Not only does it keep the card relatively cool, but the fan is well controlled, emitting very low noise levels at all times. This is extremely impressive, especially when factoring in the performance at hand.

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  • Kim

    Price isn’t bad considering the performance. Small audience, but the bragging rights alone mean it is important.

  • Nicholas D

    Nice, good power consumption too, which is something they always struggled with, Like Intel currently who can’t compete in mobile space.

  • Davis

    bad samples? tskkk. worth the wait, thanks Z.

  • Ryan SD

    MSI R7970 lightning is a great card, well priced too. a lot of the reference cooled cards were £500 when they were released.

  • Colin

    I was looking to do an upgrade to this but the price and the fact I need a mobo upgrade (actually whole system) as well pulled me away. I would of done it if I wasn’t heading to college next year and I’m going to get a laptop.

  • Vic

    Thanks for that review. Big Green just gave AMD a slap in the face with lower prices and more performance. I can’t wait to get my hands on one of these beautiful cards. It will be really interesting to see what the manufacturers come out with for non-reference cards.

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