Originally Posted by Murphyslaw
180mm fans just dont have the pressure that something like a 120mm or 80mm fan has so it wont force the air in as hard thus it wont force it out as hard. Plus, even though i love EVGA, i have never had a card from them that was cool and quiet with the stock cooler. Plus, they require using MSI Afterburner to keep them cool so that spoils the quiet while gaming. a 660 TI will also need a good intake of fresh air if its being gamed on. Plus, as you said, its over the cpu not the gpu.
imo, its just a better and much less expensive route to go with an ATX/M-ATX format.
I have very acute hearing, even the smallest noises drive me insane! haha. i can hear the one cheap 80mm fan i have on half voltage(across the room) that cools my yamaha 5.1 receiver.
Still though, ill give you that hands down. I think i just like to obsess over the needless details!
You'd be surprised how much air it moves. The fan is almost as big as the whole top of the case. The GPU sucks cold air in from the side vents and blows it out the back and doesn't even need any air from inside the case at all. So literally all the fan is doing is blowing cold air straight on to the CPU that doesn't really get that warm to begin with.
A stock reference 660ti loads in the mid 60s inside of a case that depends on intake and exhaust for fresh air. One that sucks cold air straight from the side of the case would run cooler. You have to be pretty insane to think that is any way shape or from "hot". I think people don't realize exactly how cool the 600 series cards run. If he decided to get some like an MSI, Asus, or Gigabyte with aftermarket cooling it would run cooler but dump more heat inside the case itself.
Since the card wont be gasping for cool air to keep the GPU cooler it will keep the FAN RPM lower as well meaning a quieter system. If he wanted to really keep the CPU even cooler he could put a Noctua ITX cooler on it. 2 low RPM fans, low RPM on the GPU, and an SSD would mean a rather silent machine.
If you took the time to read, he can't have something taller than an Xbox 360 so that makes all ATX systems unusable, and most all mATX boxes unusable as well.
Try to realize, I cater to ALL needs and when I make a build for somebody I try to keep the most performance, a cool and efficient setup, while maintaining budget. If he decided to go with an ITX Noctua HSF the loudest piece in his machine would be the BD burner when it spins up. I think most people forget the acoustic specs of an optical drive when they spin up. They are NOISY.
Trust me when I say, I know the meaning of acute hearing. I did pro audio over half my life with my dad working some serious venues and bands. I can nail feedback to the frequency on a 32 band EQ within a few seconds. I can also say, some people take the meaning of quiet machine a little too far. The size of the machine does not depict how quiet it will be. Considering it has very few fans means it has less chances of actually being noisy. You also can't forget that every PSU besides the high end fanless Platinum units have a fan and they can usually get noisy making spending a ton of money on noise reducing parts (like Noctua fans) pointless. Also remember that bigger fans push more air with less RPMs which makes less noise (the good ones anyway).
Edit: Oh yea, since this is an entertainment box he probably wont hear any setup over his living room speakers or where ever it is going.