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I have a GeForce GTX660 and a GTX8800 on my system.

When I had Windows 7 they both were quiet a lot. Now after the upgrade to Windows 8 I notice the following: when system boots up the fans spin fast during the very early initial phase (which sounds correct) but when Windows starts, they slow down to a more quiet speed.

After turning on from standby, the fans spin at maximum speed (and maximum noise). After upgrade from Windows 7 to 8 I reinstalled NVidia drivers just to make sure the system was running them (i.e. Windows 8 setup didn't replace them with its own integrated drivers).

When I had an NVidia-based motherboard, I could change GPU fan speed from NVidia Control Panela after installing NForce driver. Now my motherboard is AMD-based but SLI-compliant (it's a Sabertooth 990FX by ASUS, based on AMD 990 chipset).

How can I tell the GPU fans to stay quiet unless I'm playing a 3D game?

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2 Answers

This is the answer to the question, leaving out of scope any further discussion.

The problem is a driver problem. On startup, the card is detected correctly. Resuming from standby, for an unknown reason, the driver fails to initialize.

From Device Manager, deactivate and reactivate the second card makes the driver start fine. The card's fan then spins much slower without additional software

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You can use MSI Afterburner to adjust the GPU fan curve:

enter image description here

After you changed the fan curve, monitor the GPU temperature to avoid overheating and adjust the curve until you found a good setting.

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Looks like this helped me investigate more. The GTX8800 is detected with the yellow triangle by the device manager, so no other software detects it and controls its fan speed. The 670, instead, is slown down fine by the system itself and/or by Afterburner –  djechelon May 16 '13 at 11:53
    
why do you try to use both? The 8800GTX is very old and much slower. –  magicandre1981 May 16 '13 at 19:05
    
I have set it to primary PhysX adapter just to avoid throwing it :D:D but now that you ask I never actually asked myself if keeping the card is worth or not (and I never benchmarked because of laziness) –  djechelon May 16 '13 at 19:47
    
ok, you should remove the card, because the old is too slowly: > But as on overall indicator I don't think I will keep my 9800GTX as > even if it could conceivably provides a little extra performance if my > 580GTX is under extreme graphics load, the extra heat and power > consumption required to keep my 9800GTX makes the whole thing not > worth it. selfdeprecatingjournalism.blogspot.de/2011/11/… –  magicandre1981 May 17 '13 at 4:00
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