Now as they say the devil is in the details and in order to get darn near parity level’s of performance from a SuperClocked Black Edition owners will have to be willing to put up with more noise. As we made mention earlier in the review this card can, will, and does get loud when running flat out for extended periods of time. Thankfully the ICX custom heatsinks does a rather good job at effectively moving heat away from the core and into the air. So much so that even after 24hours of mining (a combination of X17, C11, NeoScypt, X16r and X16s) the two fans were only spinning up to about 65 percent on average with occasional peaks at 75%. This translates into about a doubling of the noise level of what the FTW3 (running the exact same alogs at the exact same time) is capable of doing.
In less… strenuous scenarios the difference is even less with the SC BE barely being noticeable (more of a ‘hum’) during 8 hours of gaming marathons while the FTW3 was dead silent. Basically, as long as you are willing to trade noise for overall value the SC BE is actually hard to beat. It really does act more like a less than optimal 3-fan model from a certain manufacture we are not going to name vs. the typical two fan 1080Ti. So if a bit of noise is not an issue the cost of entry into ‘elite’ 3-fan territory is really not worth it. Your mileage may vary of course as some people are more sensitive to noise than others – and some consider silence to be golden. As long as you understand this is the big difference between the For The Win 3 class of cards and the ‘lowly’ SuperClocked you can make an informed decision on what you consider most important: cash for other things or less noise.