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So to preface, I basically built Jeff's machine; I already had some of the components, including (scarily enough) the exact same case1. I've been buying bits and pieces over the past few months, which coincided perfectly with his recent post about three monitors, though not being a gamer outright, I opted for the second-from-the-bottom option. After finally plopping all the pieces lovingly into the case this evening, I turn it on...and it sounds like four professional grade hair-driers. Some quick regression analysis determined that with the video card out, the running machine sounded no louder than our house's vents.

Basically, my last desktop build included a $45-at-the-time graphics card, and it's been Macbook Pros and workstations since then, so I have zero idea whether I'll just be able to tune the fan speed later on. Will I be able to get this thing to quiet down every time I'm not playing Modern Warfare 2 at maximum framerate, or should I just send this thing back now, and get the quietest card in my pricerange?

1 One thing of note is that I do not have noise-absorbing foam in the case, as is pictured in the article. I'm only mentioning that because I suspect it could drop the overall output a few decibels, but obviously not that many.

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Hehe my Zotac AMP GTX260^2 is the same. For 1second after start and it goes totally silent. Try the mentioned rivatuner / custom cooler method. – Shiki Jun 9 '10 at 7:39
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I had the same problem but with an Nvidea PCIe card. You need to plug in the extra power cable from the power source (6-pin) and it will be quieter (less noise).

(Hope you don't mind. (edited by me, Shiki))

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I gave +1s all around, since they were all decent responses to a vague question. However: I am an idiot, and this was the winner! The real reason for my goofballness was that though this wasn't my first build, I've thus far only built dev machines, where I've only put in $30 PCI cards. – slpsys Jun 30 '10 at 23:39

Try rivatuner. Do you use the stock fan for the card? If you do not rivetuner might not work.

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If I was getting a 4770 card, it would have to be Sapphire's VaporX variant. Reference cards (as yours presumably is if it's a plain ATI model) are usually too noisy for my tastes.

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I've used aftermarket coolers for the last few ATI cards I've had. They're not difficult to fit but they will void your warranty.

Here's a good starting place:

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