Re: GTX 295 noise level vs. GTX 280?
The fan of the GTX295 is intolerable as Hell in idle ! (at least for me)
I use EVGA Presicion Tuning (which works on all cards and is a minimal version of Rivatuner) to adjust the FAN to 28% and now it is almost inaudible with very little increase in temp under Idle.
PD: nothing is more silent than my old 4870X2 which was TOTALLY SILENT in idle.
At full, this card is on par with 4870x2 and a little higher than the GTX280