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Sapphire Nitro noise: driver/profile problem or cooler design?

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NewbieOneKenobi

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Nov 14, 2006
Location
Warsaw/Poland
Long story short, according to teh Interwebz the card is a solid construction and solid performer but very loud. When people delve into it, the loudness seems to be traced to fan speed (2300 rpm or so with 95mm fans) and nothing else, and that's traced to fan profiles, and that's traced to AMD overriding Saph. According to these guys, for example, the reason is AMD's own target temp being 65C vs Saph's 75.

This makes me wonder:

(1) Is this diagnosis good?
(2) Has the problem been solved by AMD or Saph or at least a third-party modder by now, perhaps?
(3) If you use Catalyst/Crimson settings to force a slower rotation setting, will the card not overheat?

I must confess I'm not a big fan of Radeons going up to 75 and beyond and inclined to worry about stability. Also a bit worried about going 10C above the chipset provider's own recommendation anyway.

At the same time temp and noise differences among the various manufacturers and cooler types often result from software features rather than cooler design.

Anyways, thoughts?

I was hoping we have some Nitro owners (RX 480 preferably) onboard who could comment on this (and would probably have tried to address the problem already).
 

Saul Goodman

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Oct 20, 2016
Location
Adelaide
The Reference RX 480 has a temperature target of 80C, not 65C.

The stock fan profile sucks on the sapphire nitro imo. I just make it go up in stages uses MSI afterburner and it's never exceeded 45%. I think the highest temp I've seen is 74C.

Usually it will be on 40%. That's with +24mV and power limit maxed. 1400mhz core clock.

20%>60C
40%>60C-70C
45%>70C-80C
60%>80C-90C

The fans are quite loud once they ramp up. You want good airflow.
 

DaveB

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2000
I returned an XFX dual fan 8GB RX 480 for the same reason. Too loud and too much heat compared to my GTX 1060.
 
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NewbieOneKenobi

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Warsaw/Poland
You'll probably be better off buying a 1060 with a really good cooler I guess. The Nitro is a great card though, quieter than my GB 7970 Windforce.

I had a 280x WindForce (3 fans/BF edition) and that thing was loud. Then again, the sample was definitely defective. Ironically, my early WF (2 fans) 460 GTX* was very quiet, I can't even really recall the sound of it under load.

* Another defective Gigabyte something broke in after 2.5 years, and its predecessor was a HD4850 possibly from Gigabyte too, though I can't recall. Promised myself to stay away from Gigabyte in general and WindForce in particular and take a break from AMD for at least one card. I'd feel bad caving in and buying 480X on a slim and uncertain difference in perceived value. Right now I'm pretty set on 1060. I know I can't afford MSI Gaming X 6GB, which would be my ideal pick, but it's too expensive either locally or shipped, both in absolute terms and in comparison to other cards. Hence my options are (1) MSI Gaming X 3GB (not as expensive in the 3GB class as the 6GB is in the 6GB class); (2) any cheapest 1060 3GB that isn't known to be horrible (single-fan Plait or Gigabyte, or two-fan Gainward with a rebate); or (3)
cheapest 6GB out there (practically guaranteed to be a respectable manufacturer and line, just not the Gaming X); or (4) wait and hope for 2060, which might not even happen.

The cost goes like this (all approximate):

(1) PLN 1140 ($/€ 260–270)
(1) PLN 970 (220–230)
(3) PLN 1230 (285–295) (1500 for the simple pleasure of having a Gaming X as opposed to any other 6GB OC from a decent brand)
(4) USD 180 (adjust for VAT, customs, shipping costs and all that jazz, might be wishful thinking anyway)

So it's really like the difference between MSI Gaming X 3GB and a decent 6GB is like $15 after conversion. Both cost a huge premium over the simplest 3GB out there.

So the difference going up from the cheapest 3GB to the cheapest 6GB is like 30%, which is insane. But even more insane is getting 3GB MSI Gaming X for almost the price of a proper gaming/OC 6GB with less glorified cooling or paying the premium for the 6GB MSI Gaming X.

I'm probably going to get a 6GB, just struggling with the decision. It's much more than I've ever paid for a GPU, I'm making less money at work, and knowing my luck a 6GB 2060 could be released for far less money before the year ends or I could fail to see a big difference over the 280X in the games I play.
 
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NewbieOneKenobi

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How much is the 480 in comparison? No way would I settle on a 3GB card.

Almost identical, including 4 vs 8 gap.

Edit:

MSI Gaming X 480 is much cheaper with 480 8GB than 1060 6GB, it's like 1330 vs 1500.
Gigabyte Gaming G1 480 8GB costs 1200 vs MSI Gaming X's 1330. On the other hand, I'm not really itching trust cheaper 480's because of customers reporting cooling/power issues. This all is above my normal budget, but I can more easily afford to pay some 10% more than to gamble the whole 100% (to have to put up with issues or lose warranty by splicing/replacing the cooler). That MSI has a 5/5 score with 16 customers at my favourite retailer's, versus 4/5 from 8 with the Gigabyte. I guess I need to grow up and learn to pay for comfort and security.

This is worth a watch.

Thanks.

Edit: Looks like 480 is closing the gap on DX11 (especially if they manage to work around non-support for asynchronous requests and put more CPU cores at work), but 1060 isn't exactly DX12-challenged either. I'm still worried by 1060 looking less future-proof and showing worse results in RPGs and strategies, which is the kind of games I play (plus car racers, rallies especially) at the same time, which makes it look worse, but then the lower consumption and noise — perhaps better stability as well? — makes it better. CF capacity vs no SLI could decide the matter for me, but it's too coinflippy with my aged bronze-rated 650W OCZ CPU that I'm not sure would be able to handle two 480s and one i5 (plus RAM, soundcard and some fans) under full load, and I'm going to see a lot of that @1080/1440p ultra settings.

Also thinking about 480 4GB, which is not 6 or 8 but still more than a skimpy 3. I'm afraid I could appreciate the savings (~20%) in the short term but regret them later. Eh. Certainly one good thing to say about 6 and 8 is that it always generates a couple extra fps at the highest settings. I don't need 60 fps, though I can appreciate it, and can't do more than 60 with my monitor anyway, but I certainly appreciate the difference between playable 30 and smooth 45 in 1080p or virtual 1440p, where there's always a dive once spells start flying and swords flashing in a modern RPG (versus the more uniform framerate of strategies and racers).

Anyway, got some quick thoughts, guys? My favourite retailer allows next-day deliveries and I've got a slower period at work right now, so this would be as convenient a time window as any to make the purchase.
 
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Alaric

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Satan's Colon, US
I wouldn't get the 3 GB 1060 for anything but HTPC work unless the price difference between it and the 4 GB 480 were outrageous. I think the 8 GB 480 will generate more satisfaction down the road, but it isn't my money. I bought a 8 GB 480 reference card when they came out and loved it at 1080p. I think the 480 holds it's own in DX11 and most titles, with the advantage in DX12, Vulkan, and higher resolutions. Add the likely (but not guaranteed) driver optimization down the road and the OP's stated game preferences make the 480 the card to buy. My two cents.
 
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NewbieOneKenobi

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I wouldn't get the 3 GB 1060 for anything but HTPC work unless the price difference between it and the 4 GB 480 were outrageous. I think the 8 GB 480 will generate more satisfaction down the road, but it isn't my money. I bought a 8 GB 480 reference card when they came out and loved it at 1080p. I think the 480 holds it's own in DX11 and most titles, with the advantage in DX12, Vulkan, and higher resolutions. Add the likely (but not guaranteed) driver optimization down the road and the OP's stated game preferences make the 480 the card to buy. My two cents.

Thank you. I keep swaying back and forth, but the 480 does look like it has more future, both in terms of single card now and possible multi later.

I've also started looking at 470 8GB since reading that the card can go up to 480's rated clocks when OC'ed, and at lower watt consumption, whereas the real 480 won't OC much. From 4 to 8 GB the price jump isn't as high as in 480's case. The 8GB could provide me with the memory for pretty textures and AA, whereas raw power could come from OC-ing the GPU and the CPU. Then again, if I'm going to fork out €250, I might as well €300.
 

Alaric

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I hear you. The cards are all in that range where a few dollars actually does get you more, so you keep looking up the ladder and wondering if you can afford "one more step". The 470 is supposed to be a real price/performance bargain. It looks like AMD is squeezing nVidia pretty hard in that segment right now.
 

Saul Goodman

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Oct 20, 2016
Location
Adelaide
I've also started looking at 470 8GB since reading that the card can go up to 480's rated clocks when OC'ed, and at lower watt consumption, whereas the real 480 won't OC much.

Got a source? Sounds a bit unlikely to me as both cards seem to hit anywhere from 1400-1450 with a pile of voltage.

People used to say the same thing about the 7950 OC to 7970 levels etc.
 
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NewbieOneKenobi

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I hear you. The cards are all in that range where a few dollars actually does get you more, so you keep looking up the ladder and wondering if you can afford "one more step". The 470 is supposed to be a real price/performance bargain.

Exactly. Thanks. You said it better than I could. There's just no obvious start or end.

I've just compared price differences to benchmark differences, and it looks like 470 vs 480 in the MSI Gaming X series (the same I always prefer because of the cooler) is +13% power and +16% price. So it looks like they've already managed to position 470 as the new 480. If you look at Nitro or the popular Gigabyte and Asus models, 470 and 480 from the same manufacturer and with the same cooler can be like $5 apart. The only remaining good thing is pretty much than 8GB doesn't command as much of a premium vs 4GB as in 480's case, and that the 8GB version from MSI doesn't cost such a huge extra compared to other manufacturers. The problem: I want the MSI. Or something that's equally quiet. Plus, the power difference between 480 and 470 could be just what I need for CF, as this looks like the kind of card for which future CF just might make sense

EDIT: Well, looks like I've just found two different retailers with cheaper 480's from MSI than anybody else, which means they're just 10% more expensive than 480 4GB or 470 8GB. Gigabyte Gaming G1, however, costs some $15 less than the MSI, so I'll need to take a look around. These prices weren't around yesterday, so perhaps we're starting a falling trend or Christmas money is running out. Problem: when we compare 470 4GB to 480 GB, the difference can be almost +50% price, and certainly nowhere near +50% fps. Suddenly this starts being a problem, even though we can see how 470 4GB vs 480 4GB is okay, then 4 vs 8 also is okay, etc.

All in all, I'm looking at MSI Gaming X 480 4GB for PLN 1034 (~$240) vs MSI Gaming X 480 8GB for PLN 1236 (~$285), about 45 bucks for the extra RAM, vs 470 8GB at PLN 1052 (~$250), vs Gigabyte 480 8GB at PLAN 1124 (~260).

It looks like AMD is squeezing nVidia pretty hard in that segment right now.

I'm a little bit worried about vendors taking a more managed approach to their pricing and using nVidia 50s and AMD 70s (or 60s) to stop 60 and 80 prices from leaking, or use AMD 70s as counterparts to nVidia 60s to take some pressure off of red 80 pricing. Good for them (it's only reasonable anyway), not so for the buyer.

Got a source? Sounds a bit unlikely to me as both cards seem to hit anywhere from 1400-1450 with a pile of voltage.

Comments from retail buyers or benchmark readers, unfortunately don't remember where exactly.

Incidentally, are you saying they both OC to more or less the same level because 470 has more headroom, or am I reading too much into it?
 
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NewbieOneKenobi

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https://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod...14202186&cm_re=r9_fury-_-14-202-186-_-Product

Just sayin'... these were $260 just a little bit ago and could easily drop to that again... faster than both a 1060 and 480 in almost every benchmark if you don't mind the power consumption.

Hehe yeah, but we have 23% sales tax an imported stuff plus customs and cross-continental shipment. Watching Newegg is torture. Those delicious retail prices that just can't come true because our European-style greedy government wants its own cut.
 

Caviman2201

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Dec 30, 2003
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MD
Hehe yeah, but we have 23% sales tax an imported stuff plus customs and cross-continental shipment. Watching Newegg is torture. Those delicious retail prices that just can't come true because our European-style greedy government wants its own cut.

Sorry I missed that you were in Europe. Don't worry, there are lots of people here who can't wait to turn us into Europe as well. Yay tariffs! Cheers.
 
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Saul Goodman

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Oct 20, 2016
Location
Adelaide
All in all, I'm looking at MSI Gaming X 480 4GB for PLN 1034 (~$240) vs MSI Gaming X 480 8GB for PLN 1236 (~$285), about 45 bucks for the extra RAM, vs 470 8GB at PLN 1052 (~$250), vs Gigabyte 480 8GB at PLAN 1124 (~260).

The Gigabyte 8GB seems like the best deal. Unless happy with 4GB vram and the 470 4GB is around $200?