EVGA GTX 960 SSC 2 GB Review 16

EVGA GTX 960 SSC 2 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.


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.
Fan noise levels are fantastic. It looks as though all board partners have picked up on the fan-off-in-idle mechanics that were introduced recently. All GTX 960 cards we tested today will completely turn off the fans when temperatures are low, which not only includes idle and media playback, but also light gaming, like in League of Legends. This results in the perfect noise-free experience users are looking for.

During full-on gaming, all cards are extremely quiet, all reaching 27 dBA, which means they are effectively unnoticeable when installed into a closed case.

Next Page »Performance Summary