Noise: ATI 4870 vs. GT120?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Nautigar, Mar 14, 2009.

  1. Nautigar macrumors regular

    Oct 4, 2007

    does anybody know how the two graphic card options for the new MacPros compare noise-wise?

  2. blinkfrog macrumors member

    Mar 10, 2009
    Good question. I was rising it yesterday already in other thread.
    Especially interesting how these cards compare noise-wise in 2D-apps.
  3. -js- macrumors regular


    Jul 30, 2008
    Southern California
    Noise as in sound levels? If so, the ATI is significantly more noisy from all reports, as it has active cooling and intakes and vents to the outside. The nVidia card is passively cooled--no fans--so it's perfectly quiet. Check Tom's Hardware's review of the 4870 for a noise level comparison with various other cards, and IIRC, a decibel reading of the 4870 fans.
  4. Nautigar thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 4, 2007
    Yes, I am interested in the fan noise of the two, and thanks for the link to Tom's Hardware Reviews.

    But I doubt the nVidia is passively cooled. You can clearly see a fan on the pictures shown on Apple's web site. So it may be as loud as the ATI ....
  5. TheNightPhoenix macrumors 6502

    Dec 16, 2005
    From experience I'm going to say it's louder the top of the range card has always been a little noisier. I'm waiting for mine to arrive an I'm hoping its not to noisy, but as long as it isn't anything like for example an Xbox in noise levels I'll be happy.
  6. blinkfrog macrumors member

    Mar 10, 2009
    TheNightPhoenix, how do you think, which card is quieter in 2D apps? I think, it is possible what hot radeon will be cool in 2D...
  7. Nautigar thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 4, 2007
    Reports from users ...?

    Well, I think it is unlikely that anyone here has both of the cards to compare. But I'd appreciate reports from anybody with a new MacPro concerning the noise of the resprective graphics card. Thanks in advance!!
  8. galstaph macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2002
    The Great White North Eh
    umm no the nvidia does have a fan... I have one... I took pictures of it...

    it is fairly quiet. the dvd is louder...
  9. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    I'm still somewhat surprised they put a fan on the 9500GT. :rolleyes:
  10. Dragonforce macrumors 6502a


    Apr 9, 2008
    London (Ealing) UK
    IMHO the GT120 emits a horrible, deep and steady hum. Its the loudest part on my '09 Mac Pro... clearly louder than all the fans in the MP running at base speed. I had a '06 Mac Pro with the 7300GT before which was passively cooled, so maybe I'm overreacting a bit here... I'm used to "sound of silence" of my "old" MP still...
  11. diotav macrumors 6502a

    Aug 9, 2005
  12. shinchan72 macrumors member

    Mar 3, 2009
    I can say the 3870 is WAY louder than the GT 120. Just got my 3870 in yesterday and added it in to my 2009 Mac Pro. The machine was inaudible overall until that.

    I may have gotten one of the problem child 3870's as it stays on all the time (the fan that is ) and have a replacement coming in next week hoping it will be better.

    So I don't know if the 4870 is quieter than the 3870 , but the GT 120 is virtually silent in comparison to my 3870.

    I've got a 4870 on order from Apple , hoping it doesnt take till May.
  13. ekoe macrumors member

    Mar 7, 2008
    London, UK
    BareFeats reports that the ATI 4870 is not very noisy at all, particularly in comparison to the 3870.
    Check it out:
    He doesn't exactly compare it to the GT120 in terms of noise, so I don't know if it answers your questions, but it might give you an idea. Even if it happened to be a little louder, the significantly enhanced performance might be enough of a tradeoff.

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