AMD Radeon R9 Fury X 4 GB Review 348

AMD Radeon R9 Fury X 4 GB Review

Performance Summary »

Fan Noise

In past years, gamers would accept everything for a little bit more performance. Nowadays, users are more aware of their graphics card's fan noise and power consumption.

In order to properly test the fan noise a card emits, we use a Bruel & Kjaer 2236 sound-level meter (~$4,000). It has the measurement range and the accuracy we are looking for.

Fan Noise Measurement Setup

The tested graphics card is installed in a system that does not emit any noise on its own, using a passive PSU, passive CPU cooler, passive cooling on the motherboard, and a solid state drive. Noise results of other cards on this page are measurements of the respective reference design.

This setup allows us to eliminate secondary noise sources and test only the video card. To be more compliant with standards like DIN 45635 (we are not claiming to be fully DIN 45635 certified), the measurement is conducted at a distance of 100 cm and 160 cm off the floor. Ambient background noise inside the room was well below 20 dBA for all measurements. Please note that the dBA scale is not linear but logarithmic. 40 dBA is not twice as loud as 20 dBA, as a 6 dBA increase results in double the sound pressure. The human hearing perception is a bit different, and it is generally accepted that a 10 dBA increase doubles the perceived sound level. 3D load noise levels are tested with a stressful game, not with Furmark.
AMD's choice for a watercooling solution definitely pays off in gaming noise levels. Idle fan noise is a bit high, though, which is mostly because of the pump that emits a permanent high-pitched whine that tends to get quite distracting after a while. You do get used to it after quite some time, but you'll hate it every time you turn on your PC, which is when it stands out the most.

Unlike recent cards from NVIDIA, neither the fan or the pump turn off in idle.

In gaming, noise levels are very good, much lower than competing reference designs from NVIDIA. However, I expect custom GTX 980 Ti variants from MSI and ASUS to reach similar or lower noise levels with a traditional fan.

During gaming, I've noticed some coil noise coming from the card, dependent on the framerate. It's not as bad as with the HD 7990, but isn't unnoticeable either.

The fan is very well-engineered and exceptionally quiet; it actually is quieter than the pump and the coil noise.

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