Which GTX 1070 for an NCase M1?

Bawjaws

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 20, 2017
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468
Hi guys,

I thought about posting this in the NCase M1 thread but decided to open a new thread instead...

I'm in the market for a new GPU and have decided on a GTX 1070. My build is in an NCase M1 so I'm not sure which of the many available models of 1070 would suit me best. I know that conventional wisdom says that a blower-style cooler is the best bet in a small enclosure like this, but there aren't many blower 1070s out there. On the other hand, would an open-style cooler plus a couple of fans on the bottom of the case fare any better?

In terms of blowers, there's the Founders Edition, but I've heard that the 1070 FE cooler is quite a bit inferior to that used on the 1080 and 1080Ti - it lacks a vapour chamber so is hotter and noisier than the FE cooler on the higher-end cards. Then there's the Gigabyte 1070 Mini ITX and the MSI 1070 Aero ITX. Both of these cards look pretty similar and seem to be good performers in terms of heat and noise, and have zero fan modes, but unfortunately most review sites seem to test in large cases where airflow is plentiful, so I'm not sure how any of these cards would perform in the confines of an NCase. Does anyone here have any experience of any of these three cards, and if so, how did you find them in terms of noise and heat?

Alternatively, does anyone have any tales to tell about using open-style coolers in the M1 and any tips for cooling such cards whilst keeping noise to a minimum?

Ideally I'd be looking for a card that was as quiet as possible, but I appreciate that a relatively small and open case like the NCase means that things will inevitably get louder than in a bigger, more enclosed case. My current, ageing GPU (a blower 660Ti) is quite obnoxiously loud: I've experimented with fans on the bottom of the case but they made almost zero difference to temperatures, and in the end I made a ghetto shroud between the floor of the case and the GPU fan, which has improved matters a little, but isn't exactly an elegant solution!

Thanks in advance
Bawjaws
 

incredadamible

Weaksauce
Joined
Feb 2, 2016
Messages
117
Then there's the Gigabyte 1070 Mini ITX

I have a Zotac 1070 Mini (not as small as the Gigabyte)...it works well, is relatively quiet, and leaves loads of room in my M1 for air movement...I have two slim fans mounted on the bottom of the case, and 1 fan on the side bracked, all set to intake. I wouldn't worry too much about blower vs open coolers. If you have good air movement, the GPU dumping heat into the case (vs out the back with blower style) shouldn't have an impact on the other components.

Also, technically you can get almost any GPU to be quiet if you adjust fan profiles, though there is a trade off with heat and performance. Between performance, heat, and noise you typically only get to pick two.
 

Bawjaws

Limp Gawd
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Feb 20, 2017
Messages
468
Thanks for the reply. Could I ask which slim fans are you using on the bottom of the case? I'd forgotten about Zotac, shame on me. Do you mind if I ask what sort of GPU temperatures you're experiencing?

I totally get you about being about to pick two out of three when it comes to performance, heat and noise, and it's certainly something that I've always especially borne in mind since moving to mITX!
 

darksable

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 9, 2015
Messages
431
Couple points I'd like to make.

1) That triangle is a good start, but not quite accurate; it's more a pyramid. At the bottom of the pillar, you have performance, noise, and heat, but at the top of the pyramid is cost - that is to say, any one missing vertex can be replaced by throwing more money at the problem.

2) Even the slightly less effective 1070 FE cooler is still way far and beyond more effective than the old reference coolers. (I should know, I had a 670 FTW.) They're also pretty much silent now; at a reasonable fan speed, they produce no more noise than an open-air cooler.

3) The cooler for a founders' edition 1080(/ti /titan) can be found on ebay for $30-40 bucks. An interesting corollary? The PCBs for each of the cards are exactly the same.

4) You can overclock the heck out of a sufficiently cooled founder's edition card, which is why you can find the 1080 cooler so easily; a lot of people put them under water or an Artic Accelero.

For only very slightly more than an aftermarket version, you get a blower-style GPU that's more than capable of handling the heat without making noise.
 

Bawjaws

Limp Gawd
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Feb 20, 2017
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468
Thanks for the input, I appreciate it. I'm just a little wary of spending hundreds on a GPU only to find that it's a noisy beast!
 

Frazhna

Limp Gawd
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Jun 27, 2013
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158
The gtx 770 in my M1 was made by MSI and had a blower style cooler on it, not the one that looked like the reference cooler, just some generic black plastic blower. It was the only card with a blower style cooler that I could find at the time and it was very noisy and the card suffered from severe thermal throttling, so it is water cooled now. I keep wondering if the blower that came with my card was just not as good as other blowers. Some people say they get great temps with them, but my experience with a blower was not good, so I don't trust them.
 

incredadamible

Weaksauce
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Feb 2, 2016
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117
Could I ask which slim fans are you using on the bottom of the case?

I am using 2 Raijintek Aeolus Beta slim fans on the bottom of the case.

Do you mind if I ask what sort of GPU temperatures you're experiencing?

This is the second video card I've had in my M1 (previously, I had an Asus GTX970 Mini). I'm noticing it's kind of like with our kids. The first one you spend forever making sure everything was perfect, when the second/third come around you just make sure they don't die. I spent a lot of time on the GTX970 Mini card trying to optimize for heat/temps/noise. When I installed the Zotax GTX1070 Mini, I adjusted some of the fan profiles, ran some heavy benchmarks to make sure there was no throttling and haven't looked at it since. I'll look up some numbers when I have a chance tonight/tomorrow and let you know.

1) That triangle is a good start, but not quite accurate; it's more a pyramid. At the bottom of the pillar, you have performance, noise, and heat, but at the top of the pyramid is cost

Haha, good point.
 

darksable

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 9, 2015
Messages
431
The gtx 770 in my M1 was made by MSI and had a blower style cooler on it, not the one that looked like the reference cooler, just some generic black plastic blower. It was the only card with a blower style cooler that I could find at the time and it was very noisy and the card suffered from severe thermal throttling, so it is water cooled now. I keep wondering if the blower that came with my card was just not as good as other blowers. Some people say they get great temps with them, but my experience with a blower was not good, so I don't trust them.

Understandable, but here's the thing. The old style blower coolers are an entirely different thing from the new founders' edition coolers; Nvidia spent a LOT of time and money developing them. So, while I do get why you're skittish about them, buying a cooler that a company used because it was the cheapest possible thing they could use and saying that you don't think the other examples will perform well is like buying a vespa scooter and then saying that you're worried a Ducati won't go fast enough.


Thanks for the input, I appreciate it. I'm just a little wary of spending hundreds on a GPU only to find that it's a noisy beast!

I absolutely understand; I'm paranoid about noise myself.

However... we're talking about a 250w cooler on a 150w card. There might be a couple of OEM solutions that are that robust, but I doubt there are more than about three.

Here's the thing. The stock 1070FE cooler is... adequate. Yes, the card throttles, but that's fixed by tweaking the fan curve.

Is it noisy? Yes, but we're spoiled. Five years ago, cards were compared to jet engines. Now? The default is pretty much dead silent.

Sticking a 1080 cooler onto a 1070 is an entirely different story, though. I mean, the 1080FE doesn't throttle and doesn't have any complaints about noise; it's a significantly hotter chip, so the fan is spinning fast enough, but it just sounds like a regular fan whooshing air, not like a hair dryer.

Now, if you don't want to attempt it because you don't want to mod your card, or because it's too much of a hassle, I perfectly respect that. But worrying that a 250w cooler isn't going to keep a 1070 cool and quiet is just silly. :p
 

Bawjaws

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 20, 2017
Messages
468
Yeah, I'm not sure I'm quite brave enough to despoil a brand new $350+ card :D The noise comment was in relation to "stock" cooling!
 

Bawjaws

Limp Gawd
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Feb 20, 2017
Messages
468
The 1070 cooler doesn't have a vapour chamber, but the 1080 & 1080Ti versions do.
 

incredadamible

Weaksauce
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Feb 2, 2016
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117
Do you mind if I ask what sort of GPU temperatures you're experiencing?

I did some testing last night using the Heaven benchmark (3440x1440 @ max settings). Highest temperature I saw during two run-throughs was 76°C. Fan speed on the GPU was constant throughout.
 

Bawjaws

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 20, 2017
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468
Those are pretty decent temperatures. Thanks for taking the time to test, I appreciate it!
 
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