The Siluro GF4 Ti4200 OTES's 7,200 rpm blower doesn't look like the quietest cooling solution, and it's not. To give you an idea just how much noise the card makes compared to a stock GeForce4 Ti 4200 cooling fan, I did some noise level testing with my trusty decibel meter. Two measurements were taken while the test system cranked through 3DMark2001 SE, one in close proximity, four inches away from the rear exhaust port (though not directly in the path of air flow), and one four feet away from the test system to get an idea of overall noise levels for the room.
Up close, the OTES is just over five dB louder than a stock cooling fan, which isn't as trivial a margin as this graph suggests. More on that in a second.
Even a full four feet away from the test system, Abit's OTES produces noise levels more than four dB higher than a stock cooling setup. I've listened to both cooling setups at length, and I can tell you that graphing the results on a bar chart against the logarithmic decibel scale doesn't do the difference in actual noise levels justice. Sound intensity can also be expressed in terms of watts per square meter, and I've converted the decibel readings to illustrate better the difference in noise intensity that you'll hear between the two cooling systems.
When we do away with the logarithmic decibel scale, how much louder the OTES is up close becomes much clearer. With our close proximity measurement, it's more than three times as loud as a stock cooling setup.
As we move farther away from the test system, the sound intensity drops, but the stock video cooler is still a much quieter setup.
I'm quite used to sleeping next to all manner of humming, buzzing, and whirring hardware, but the Siluro GF4 Ti4200 OTES was just too much. I actually ended swapping the card out if I left my test machines crunching Folding@Home at night.
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