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This review is from: Noctua NF-A14 FLX 140mm Case Fan
Pros: Barely audible at full speed. Inaudible with the L.N.A. With these, there is no need to even bother with speed control.
Better airflow with less noise than the Lian Li case fans I replaced.
6 year warranty
Other Thoughts: People often complain about the color, but that is Noctua's branding. It doesn't bother me at all.
Bought five to replace all fans in a Lian Li PC-X1000 case.
Pros: - Fastest factory overclock with a warranty
- Excellent OpenGL performance
- Very high quality construction
- Unorthodox and impressive design
- Runs very cool (36C idle, 68C after 30min running Furmark 100% load at factory overclocks)
Cons: - None, but if really pressed, perhaps noise (See Other Thoughts)
Other Thoughts: Be sure you have sufficient room in length and height to install this card, as it is a leviathan. This beast of a GPU weighs over 5lbs, so be sure to secure it tightly at the 3-slot mount and also use the provided rubber supports. There will be only minimal sag (about 1mm) if installed properly.
It is important the power supply provides sufficient current on the 12V rail (46A minimum per Gigabyte's docs) feeding the card, be as absolutely ripple free as possible, and also be very stable delivering all voltages. A bargain power supply, even if rated for high-wattage, will not allow you to run this card (or actually any other high-end hardware) reliably, much less overclock it to even higher levels with any degree of long-term stability.
Since this card uses 5 server-grade 40mm fans, there was much criticism in the computer media about the potential this card has to "make your ears bleed." I have to admit I was a bit apprehensive, but I decided to pull the trigger to buy it anyway. After I powered it up for the first time, I was pleasantly surprised it wasn't as bad as the bloggers and magazines made it sound.
There are two things you need to know: First, your computer case must provide an ample flow of cool air. The better the case flows, the less rpm the integrated fan controller of the card will demand, thereby running much quieter. The second is the proper use of the included OC Guru software or, if you like, MSI's Afterburner. With either of these, you can custom tune the fan profile of this card to suit the way you'll load it. I have mine set so that when I perform my normal work, the card is only lightly loaded and it runs dead quiet. Really. Dead quiet! When set for my heavy 3D graphics loads, the fans run at higher rpm's to sufficiently cool the card and the resulting fan noise is noticeable but not obtrusive. Most of the noise you hear is the card laughing at what you throw at it. That said, I would submit a practical compromise of performance, proper cooling and noise is attainable.
I have to honestly commend Gigabyte's courage for stepping outside of the box when designing this card. It is also one of the reasons I chose to buy it. I would give it 6 stars if I could. Newegg also deserves praise for its excellent customer service.