Originally Posted by Bah!
Well, my 480 arrived a little while ago, and while not going to throw out a bunch of benchmarks, I will report on a few things.
First, this card is absolutely quieter and cooler than my 295, without a doubt. It idles at 44°C which is about what any 200 series card idles at.
Furmark, which made my previous card hit the high 90's or higher at 100% fan speed, got no higher than 85°C @ 100% fan speed, and 90°C @ 85% fan speed. Furmark is also the worst case scenario that your card will ever see.
I looped the Heaven 2.0 benchmark for about 30 minutes and at the end the highest temp was 81°C @ 75% fan speed.
Crysis, which regularly hit high 80's on my last card at max fan speed, hit a max of 79°C @ 77% fan speed, which is incidentally the level at which i can finally hear the fan ramp up.
Battlefield: BC 2 hit a max of 77°C @ 73% fan speed.
Real Temp shows zero difference in my CPU temps from my last card to this card. It hasn't increased my case temps a single bit.
As I mentioned before, my case is a pretty typical case, with only four fans. I have a PC Power and Cooling 910 PS, X58 SLI mb, i7 920 @ 3.8ghz, 6 gig of DDR3 @ 1600mhz, two HD's and a DVD drive. The fan on the 480 has to ramp up to 77% before i can even hear it over the rest of my computer. My case sits about 2 feet to the right of me and below on a little shelf in my computer table designed for this so maybe that helps. I also like to keep my house nice and cool, so it's a comfortable 72°C in here right now, which is how it will stay until next winter.
Are these cards as cool and quiet as Ati's latest offerings? Not by a long shot, but they aren't really any worse than the last generation of Nvidia cards either. People have blown this so far out of proportion it's ridiculous.
Anyone who had no problems with Nvidia's last generation of video cards (200's) will have absolutely no problem with the 400 series of cards either.
Thanks for the feedback. Your results are definitely reassuring. Shows that Nvidia's fan profiles might be little conservative and as such setting manual fan speed could really help. I had a similar issue with my 4870x2 but this round with my 5870 have found that auto works just fine, even on a 35C summer day.
@ bolded, I hope you mean F, 72°C ain't usually what someone would call comfortable
Aircon definitely helps. One of my print servers at work is a early 3.2GHz prescott, the damn thing goes up to 75C with the fan at 4500rpm only doing full load for 2-5 min extents. With aircon on 23C it never gets above 58C and 3200rpm fan. I've retired it to light workstation duties just today, I'm sick of hearing the fan