Originally Posted by Rollo
The GTX590 does not overstep any reasonable limits for noise, were I to guess it is likely the quietest dual GPU card ever produced. It's also quieter than several single gpu solutions.
The 6990 is either the loudest video card ever produced, or a close second behind the infamous FX5800 Ultra.
The power use and thermals of the GTX590 are acceptable to me, as are the power use and thermals on the 6990.
Water cooling is definitely not needed for a stock clocked 590.
Tell that to the PCI-e consortium that governs the PCI-e express specification, and clearly states a 300 watt power limit to be PCI-e certified, and both these cards exceed that quite easily...
As for thermals, it all depends on where you live too i suppose, and what the ambient temperature is like especially during the summer time, if you live in a soulthern state like florida or texas where it can hit beyond 100*F and the A/C in the house is already struggling to cool down the rooms in the house as it is, never mind the heat contribution that appliances or computers add to that to make matters even worse..
I'm all for performance, but not at the ever increasing cost of steadily increasing power consumption with every new generation, as i go far enough back to the time when even the highest end video cards ran on the 30~35 watts provided by the AGP slot and that was it( yes, i'm an old fart..
), so if back then you told someone that video cards alone could eat up 400 watts, you'd have a revolution in your hands...
Remember all the gags that were used when 3Dfx anounced the voodoo 6000 series of cards, using up to 4 GPU's and an external power supply(called the voodoo volt), and the card was large and used an insane 70 watts of power to run?.....That's a joke by today's standards as it's the kind of power used to run a low end, budget video card these days, or how the NV30 was loud as hell and used a lot of power for it's day?....That's also a joke by today's standards for both thermals and power use.
What's next?....High end video cards using 450 watts, maybe even 500 watts and it'll be acceptable since they're so fast and fully featured anyhow, no one will care how noisy they are or how hot they run....Where does one draw the line on acceptable trade offs, because we are getting up there at a steady pace.
Both GPU makers should take the example of what Intel and AMD do in this matter and limit every new product release to a given TDP, and that i can remember, both companies have never released products that exceeded 135 watts TDP period, even for their high end products and it's been this way for the last 15+ years straight...