5870 vs. GT120 (noise?)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by 2contagious, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. 2contagious macrumors 6502a

    2contagious

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Hi,

    I was wondering if I should get a GT120 to replace the (newer and better) 5870. I know it sounds crazy, but performance isn't as important to me as noise, as I don't do any 3D rendering or gaming on my Mac Pro.

    So my question is: does anyone have a 5870 and GT120 and know how they compare in terms of noise?

    see you,
    2c
     
  2. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    #2
    I dont own any of the cards but from common sense I'll make a guess.

    GT120 > ATI 5870 in terms of noise.
     
  3. 2contagious thread starter macrumors 6502a

    2contagious

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    Yes, I would think so, too, but I'd like to know how much of a difference there will be. :confused:
     
  4. costabunny macrumors 68020

    costabunny

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    Location:
    Weymouth, UK
    #4
    I would say get whichever can have its cooler replaced (I did that with the 8800 and dropped its noise to almost zero). The aftermarket cooler cost me about £20 and was well worth it.

    Not sure about the 120 or ATi cards but am sure someone will know..
     
  5. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    You might also wanna consider the Apple 4870. Extremely silent card with way more punch than the GT120.
     
  6. 2contagious thread starter macrumors 6502a

    2contagious

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    I read it's noisier than the GT120 (?)
     
  7. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    Nope, not at all. I've had both cards in my computer and in OS X I couldn't hear either of them.
    Initially I intended to put another (passive) cooler on the 4870 as I expected them to be a little noisy (that's what I've heard about PC cards), but when the Pro arrived I realised that that won't be necessary at all.

    That being said, I'm not doing any graphics related work, so I don't stress the card.
    The 4870 gets a little louder when playing games on Windows though, but that's really negligible.
     
  8. diazj3 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    #8
    I don't own a 5870, but my GT120 makes no noise at all. None what so ever. I also have the 4870, and it is noisier than the GT120. Common sense would dictate that the 5870 - as it is much more powerful than either of them - would be at least as loud as the 4870 due to the size of the fan that cools them down.

    If you get the GT120, you'll also lower the temperature and power consumption. But do some research beforehand... I think I read somewhere that the GT120 doesn't work on a 2010 MP.

    cheers!
     
  9. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #9
    It does, there are several people here using them on 2010 Mac Pros.
     
  10. ovrlrd macrumors 65816

    ovrlrd

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    #10
    It is not just fan size that is important in terms of noise, but also how fast it spins. By having a larger fan it could operate at slower speeds and still cool the card well enough. In general smaller fans mean more noise because they have to spin at higher speeds to push as much air as possible to cool it down.

    If the 5870 has a bigger fan than the gt120 then it will probably be quieter, at least when the chip is not being used as heavily (and assuming it will throttle the fan speed on demand).
     
  11. Weepul macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    #11
    I do not have first-hand experience, but I wanted to mention that when reviewing the 2010 Mac Pro, digilloyd found the 5870 had an audible, but not objectionable, low droning noise. This compares to the 120 being nearly silent, which he believed had passive cooling until he looked at it and saw there was a fan!

    I'm afraid I can't find a link to where he said so...I think it was on his Twitter.
     
  12. Vylen macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2010
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #12
    Can barely hear it. My machine is around 3 feet from my head and well, outside is noisier than the machine :p At night when everything should be quiet, the clacking of the aluminium keyboard keys is louder.

    What other ways is there to describe it... my breathing is louder when i take deep breaths? Heh...

    In short, it's quiet.
     
  13. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #13
    The reason the GT120 makes no noise is because it uses a very small and slow fan. Why? It's a piece of crap card, that's why.
     
  14. 2contagious thread starter macrumors 6502a

    2contagious

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #14
    The reason why I am considering swapping the 5870 with a GT120 is that I am getting some noise that sounds like someone blowing into an empty bottle. it starts and stops all the time (5 secs noise, then 1-2 seconds silence, .....) I don't know if it really is, but it could be the "drone" sound diglloyd was writing about :confused:

    I'd definitely prefer getting rid of that sound by replacing the card with a more silent one. (or is it possible to change the fan on the 5870? that would probably void the warranty of the whole mac pro though, no?)
     
  15. MCHR macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    #15
    I haven't (yet) had an issue with my 5870, then again I'm not pushing it that hard either. Overall, my MP is the quietest desktop I've yet owned. I can hear the backup drives across the room before I hear the MP making any noises.
     
  16. 2contagious thread starter macrumors 6502a

    2contagious

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #16
    Believe me, I am not pushing it hard either :D I am talking about noise when idle.
     
  17. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #17
    What's wrong with just getting the Mac Pro with the 5770? Seems a bit backwards to upgrade the card, only to downgrade to way below the 5770.
     
  18. diazj3 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    #18
    I wouldn't say it's a piece of crap... it's just a weak card. Besides being small in size, low power, low heat and practically no noise, IME it works flawlessly with OS X, mac applications, bootcamp/PC apps and any display you connect it to. Keep in mind that not everybody needs a powerful card, and most apps outside the high graphics, video, 3D and gaming realms cant take any advantage from it.

    DAW's for playing, recording and editing audio, ripping and watching movies, using EyeTV, etc don't need much GPU power, but one sure enjoys the low noise and low heat. The GT120 is a great alternative for such uses, or for avoiding the dual-link adapters in certain configurations.... plus, the OP would still have the 5870 to combine it with, something the 5770 would put the PSU to the limit and leaving a cramped PCIe space.

    cheers!
     
  19. mjsmke macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #19
    I have the GT120 and its silent. I do some 3D rendering, but i understood the rendering time is down to the CPU rather than the GPU? Am i wrong? If i upgraded to the 5770 (seen brand new for £149) what difference will i notice?
     
  20. peskaa macrumors 68020

    peskaa

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #20
    If you do swap for a GT120, I will literally kill to get my hands on your 5870...
     
  21. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #21
    Be a shame if you had an... accident before you could get your hands on that 5870.

    Strange things happen. People step in concrete and fall into rivers. You should be careful. ;)
     
  22. 2contagious thread starter macrumors 6502a

    2contagious

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #22
    I wanted to ask.. how would replacing the fan of my 5870 card (that came with the Mac Pro) affect my overall warranty and Apple Care of the computer? Does it void the warranty of the user replaceable video card or of the WHOLE mac pro? :(

    I took care of most of the vibration noise in my Mac Pro by using pieces of rubber, but the loudest noise is now still coming from the 5870's fan. it's a constant high tone (not a high pitch whine, more like someone blowing into an empty bottle) and it's definitely coming from the GPU fan, as when I slow it down with my finger, it goes away. is there any software to slow down/speed up the GPU fan? smcFanControl only seems to be able to change the other fans (?)
     
  23. johnnymg macrumors 65816

    johnnymg

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    #23
    FWIW, the fan on the 5770 is silent.......... at least for normal applications.

    That seems like a much better alternative to the old GT120.

    JohnG
     
  24. diazj3 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    #24
    you mean by using something like this? yes - disassembling the card or messing with it in any way other than taking it in/out the mp will most likely affect your warranty... not worth the risk imo.

    Is the GT120 plan off? that sounded as a good idea in your case.

    Have you called applecare to tell them about the noise? perhaps it something they can fix covered by the warranty, or they could exchange the card for a 5770+credit, given your circumstance....

    So its the 5870s fan itself, and not a result of combined resonance caused by all the fans?

    As far as I know, SMC only accelerates the MP fans. It has no effect on the GPU fan. If it was resonance, it could be lowered by slightly changing the speed of the other fans.

    I'm no expert... but perhaps by using ATI Catalyst in bootcamp, the fan default speed can be modified, and that mod stays that way when booting into OSX. Cindori knows a lot about GPUs, perhaps you can pm him and he can help.

    cheers!
     
  25. thepawn macrumors 6502

    thepawn

    Joined:
    May 27, 2009
    #25
    weird...my G120 is noisier then my 4870. (use it to drive secondary display)
     

Share This Page