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Thread: Heat, power, noise comparison between X1900 & 7900?

  1. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barkotron
    ... I decided to just get one (X1900XT) anyway.... The noise was bad, so I replaced with the Thermalright V1-Ultra .... You do have to be happy to take pliers/hacksaws to the RAM heatsinks that ship with the cooler (2 of them need to be cut down to roughly half their height due to the positioning of the heatsink/heatpipe assembly on the front of the card)
    All those hastles are giving me doubts about the X1900. Bad noise, and bad heat. And the fix (with pliers/hacksaws) sounds risky. Certainly a way to lose the graphics card warranty.

    On the other hand, I don't see why the 7900 is selling for so much more than the X1900. (Perhaps it's because the 7900s are not really available right now. Another paper launch? Perhaps the cost will come down when they're really available.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by GFiSH
    I think I read somewhere that the 7900GTX will use aprrox 120w. Don't remember where I read that, think I googled '7900GTX' and found that a few days before they were released.
    Yes, I've heard that figure (120 Watts for the 7900GTX) mentioned casually prior to release. But I haven't seen that figure confirmed by any labs yet.

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    I am definitely biasing to the x1900xt / xtx for my next build and for me, noise is a big issue, I was hoping the Arctic Cooling Accelero X2 would be the answer, reviews look good - anyone got one and can confirm?
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    ahh its good to know at least 1 HSF can cope with the heat, and by the sounds of it alot better than the stock cooler.

    My post is a bit out of date really as over the weekend i plumped for the X1800XT over the 7900GT myself despite the heat and noise issues.

    Personally im keeping an eye out for the new Zalman VF900 as the VF700 is apparantly superb.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Artic_Kid
    That indicates that the ATI X1900XTx is using between 240 and 288 Watts! Yikes! (That's double what I estimated in my previous post.) With power figures like that, it's hard to explain two of these in a Crossfire system using a mere 600 Watt power supply (as the reviewers did here). Their PSU must have been operating on the hairy-edge of shutdown.
    The test here shows a significantly different figure:
    http://www.vr-zone.com.sg/?i=3335&s=8

    Now perhaps 3D Marks don't push the card as far as a few hours of FEAR (no idea), but I'd be inclined to say that the X1900 uses consumes less than 150W than over.. (Stock)
    Last edited by TooNice; 20-03-2006 at 05:41 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Artic_Kid
    All those hastles are giving me doubts about the X1900. Bad noise, and bad heat. And the fix (with pliers/hacksaws) sounds risky. Certainly a way to lose the graphics card warranty.

    On the other hand, I don't see why the 7900 is selling for so much more than the X1900. (Perhaps it's because the 7900s are not really available right now. Another paper launch? Perhaps the cost will come down when they're really available.)
    Yanking off the cooler and replacing it voids the warranty anyway. I suppose it's up to you if you want to tell anyone about it. Keep the stock one and stick it back on if there's a problem - I won't tell anyone .

    You don't need to go anywhere near the actual card with the hacksaw/pliers/whatever. Just chop up the little ramsinks that come with the cooler. You could even do this in a different room. Alternatively, Zalman's VGA ramsinks (at least, the small ones intended for the back of the card) would also fit on top of the two problem RAM chips, as they're short enough to fit under the front plate of the V1-Ultra.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TooNice
    The test here shows a significantly different figure:
    http://www.vr-zone.com.sg/?i=3335&s=8

    Now perhaps 3D Marks don't push the card as far as a few hours of FEAR (no idea), but I'd be inclined to say that the X1900 uses consumes less than 150W than over.. (Stock)
    We're seeing big discrepancies concerning the power requirements of these cards. According to a previous poster, Couger, during heavy gaming in FEAR, the ATI tool displays that his X1900XTX is using between 20 & 24 amps, which equals 240 to 288 Watts! By comparison, the above link claims the figure is 135 Watts, which is a huge (113%) difference on this spec (perhaps the ATI tool is not a good measure of the power requirements?).

    That same link is the only review-lab so far to compare the power requirements of the 7900GTX (89 Watts) with the X1900XTX (135 Watts, or 52% more power than the 7900GTX). If that is accurate, then the ATI card uses 46 Watts more than the Nvidia -- (or about as much as three hard drives) -- which doesn't seem to be enough to explain the difference in fan noise. I had previously gotten the impression the ATI card sounds like a jet engine, with a corresponding amount of heat. While the Nvidia is quiet as a mouse. But if the difference is merely 46 Watts, then something doesn't make sense.

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    Without first hand experience or dB measurements of both cards (from the same source) , I can only make educated guesses.

    Isn't it possible that our perception of what is noisy increases significantly past a certain threshold? You said it yourself, 52% more power. That is an extra 50% of heat to dissipate.

    The CPU cooler I used for my Barton goes from 1900RPM to 3500RPM. From 1900 RPM to 2400 RPM, the cooler remains "quiet" compared to the rest of my system.
    Add another 600 RPM, and it suddenly changes from "quiet" to "a "noisy". Another 500RPM, and it sounds like there is a hoover in my case and it covers all other noise in the rest of my system. 3500RPM is less than a 50% in RPM compared to 2400RPM. Yet the end result seems more like a 10x increase in noise.

    Now it could be that the fan in ATI card are simply not as well designed (again, I can't compare both), but the idea that noise become significantly louder past a certain threshold also seem plausible to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Artic_Kid

    That same link is the only review-lab so far to compare the power requirements of the 7900GTX (89 Watts) with the X1900XTX (135 Watts, or 52% more power than the 7900GTX). If that is accurate, then the ATI card uses 46 Watts more than the Nvidia -- (or about as much as three hard drives) -- which doesn't seem to be enough to explain the difference in fan noise. I had previously gotten the impression the ATI card sounds like a jet engine, with a corresponding amount of heat. While the Nvidia is quiet as a mouse. But if the difference is merely 46 Watts, then something doesn't make sense.
    Your talking as if there the same card, with the same cooling?

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    I've been thinking about this question again, and there are a couple of reasons why I found the stock cooler so annoying on the X1900XT.

    First off, it's quite a raucous noise. Even at lowest, it sounded quite raw, as if there was something not quite right with it (of course, I suppose it's possible that there was in fact something wrong with it, but I guess we'll never know now ). Once it span up it was really intrusive and whiny. Not so much the volume as the tone - I've certainly had louder machines (lots and lots of 80mm fans - sounded like the flight deck of the Ark Royal ), but I haven't had any that were quite that whiny.

    Secondly, and I think this was the real killer, once in-game, my system seemed to settle after a few minutes into just about the exact point where the cooler kicked into really nasty mode. In other words, I'd play for a few minutes, then the cooler would wind up and blast hot air out of the back of the case for a couple of minutes, which would cool the chip down just enough so the fan turned off, at which point the chip warmed up again to the point where the fan needed to kick in, and so on and so on ad nauseam. Now that was annoying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barkotron
    Secondly, and I think this was the real killer, once in-game, my system seemed to settle after a few minutes into just about the exact point where the cooler kicked into really nasty mode. In other words, I'd play for a few minutes, then the cooler would wind up and blast hot air out of the back of the case for a couple of minutes, which would cool the chip down just enough so the fan turned off, at which point the chip warmed up again to the point where the fan needed to kick in, and so on and so on ad nauseam. Now that was annoying.
    Cant you just adjust the fan speed thresholds in ATi Tool like i do on my X800 or is that a no-no on the X1800/X1900's?

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    Um. Yes, you can, probably.

    But changing the threshholds would presumably have just meant that this still happened, just at a slightly higher temperature, no? I can't really see that the fan at the lower speed would have kept it cool enough for the higher one not to kick in eventually.

    In any case, maybe I'm just overly-sensitive to such things, but the thing was even annoying me when it didn't spin up. It's quiet, but it sounds rough. I wouldn't have thought it would bother most people, but I've been on a real "must have silence" kick recently - I don't need it during games, but when I'm working, I don't want any annoying noises, and that was an annoying noise. I'm perfectly happy to have stuck a different cooler on it. It also means that my X1900XT will clock right up to the limit of Catalyst overdrive settings no problem at all, and still stay 10-15 degrees cooler than it did with the stock cooler. With stock, I could get to 665 core, 780 mem, but with the new one I max out the overdrive thingmy at 690/800. I'm guessing I could get more with ATITool, but to be honest, I'm happy with it as it is .

    It's got to the point where I've noticed that my monitor (big old Samsung CRT) has got a buzzing cap or something. If I fancied killing myself, I'd open up the back and get in there with a screwdriver, but I value my limbs, so I'm just going to (probably) buy a new TFT instead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barkotron
    .... I've been on a real "must have silence" kick recently - I don't need it during games, but when I'm working, I don't want any annoying noises, and that was an annoying noise.
    Are you saying the X1900XT (with stock cooler) is annoyingly noisy even when you're not gaming? (That would likely be a deal-killer for me. It's bad enough that it's annoyingly noisy during gaming, but during office work that would be too much.)

    I doubt that I want to jack-around with replacing the stock cooler, voiding the warranty, and risking a screw-up. Maybe I'll have to hold out till one of the ATI partners uses a quieter cooler.

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    It's not all that bad, and I wouldn't have thought most people would be bothered by it, but like I said, I've really over-sensitised myself to the noise coming from the system over the last couple of weeks while I've been tweaking it, and it was bugging me. It wasn't loud by any stretch of the imagination, it just didn't sound nice and easy, slightly grating. It's very possible that there was actually a problem with that particular fan. Had it been six months ago I could have put up with it easily, but I've just got myself a P180 and everything in the case is now 120mm fans. As I've said before, the loudest thing about the system nowadays if I turn all the fans to minimum is the monitor .

    I think it's worth you taking that context into account. I certainly wouldn't suggest that you shouldn't get one of the cards because of the idle noise. It is quiet, and if I hadn't gone all SPCR-obsessive-compulsive over the last couple of weeks, I'd never have noticed it .

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    As a point of interest Barkotron, what PSU do you have in your P180??? (Lcable lenght can be an issue with the P180 I understand, and I have a final choice down to Seasonic or FSP).....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barkotron
    Um. Yes, you can, probably.

    But changing the threshholds would presumably have just meant that this still happened, just at a slightly higher temperature, no? I can't really see that the fan at the lower speed would have kept it cool enough for the higher one not to kick in eventually.
    Yeah it would still spin up but lowering the threshold would have probably prevented the constant speed up...... speed down cycle. Anyway ill hopefully be able to comment more effectively tomorrow when my X1800XT turns up

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