We measured the noisiness of our GeForce 7950 GX2 with Velleman DVM1326 digital sound level meter. It features 0.1dB resolution, allows measuring up to 130dB of noise and allows using A and C weighting.
At the time of this test the background noise level in the lab was 36dBA. The level of noise measures at a 1-meter distance from the test platform with a passive cooled graphics card equaled 40dBA. These are reference values, which we will use for the evaluation of the noise level generated by our testing participants.
Here is what we got from GeForce 7950 GX2:
In nominal workmode the card runs even quieter than GeForce 7900 GTX, because the fans of both coolers rotate at a low speed. Subjectively speaking, you cannot even hear GeForce 7950 GX2 against the background of other system components. As a rule, it is also quiet in 3D mode, however, if the core temperatures hit certain point, the thermal management system speeds up the cooling fans a lot and the level of generated noise grows up. In this case, GeForce 7950 GX2 turns out even noisier than Radeon X1900 XT/XTX from a 1-meter distance. At the same time, the noise generated by the graphics card fans can be very easily distinguished from the rest of the noises in a working system, because the fans are quite small, rotate at a very high speed and have a typical sounding. However, our subjective opinion is that the noise generated by the coolers of GeForce 7950 GX2 is not as unpleasant as the noise coming from the Radeon X1900 XT/XTX fan, because it is free from the typical “plastic” shade.
So, GeForce 7950 GX2 features quite acceptable noisiness and can only be heard when the GPUs get really hot. Therefore, you have to make sure that the case is very well ventilated and you might be able to avoid any uncomfortable audible effects.