The following tweak may actually work for most NVIDIA and AMD video cards, and not only the NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT card that I'm using to demonstrate it. The default fan of the video card is really loud that it irritates me even if I'm working on the desktop and not playing games that may tax it to the maximum.
The first thing I tried was to find updates for the driver software and then firmware upgrades for the card to see if they would resolve the issue and lower down the fan rotation so that it would not be as loud anymore.
MSI, the maker of the card, did not offer any firmware upgrades and the latest Nvidia drivers did not resolve the issue as well. I though that I was left with replacing the card's default fan with a slower spinning one, or replacing the card instead. I did not really like both options though as they meant that I had to spend money to correct the issue.
I made the decision to search for a solution on the Internet. What I noticed was that I was not the only owner of the card who had issues with the card's noise generation.
One suggestion was to use theRivaTuner freeware to reduce the fan speed of the video card to lower the noise that it generated. This was the solution I was looking for and I quickly downloaded and installed Rivatuner to give it a try. The only thing left was to lower the fan speed and make the changes permanent.
I clicked on customize in the first screen that appeared right next to Forceware detected and selected the icon for system settings from the panel. The second tab was named fan, the goal of my search. It allowed me to set a new fan speed value for three different states: standard 2D, low power 3D and performance 3D. I changed the settings from 100% to 25 in standard 2D mode, 50% for low power 3D and 100% for performance 3D. 2D means everything that you do normally in Windows like using office, browsing on the internet or writing emails.
I checked the box that saved the settings so that they would be applied during every system start and voila - the noise was gone. From one second to the next it was gone. My PC is almost silent now, the noisiest part is my external hard drive, everything else is barely audible (I bought a low noise cpu fan and power supply).
I suggest you take a look at Rivatuner if you face a similar problem like I did. It might solve yours too.
Update: Rivatuner has not been updated since 2009. A program that you can use instead is MSI Afterburner which uses the program's core to make available its functionality. It is compatible with all recent AMD and NVIDIA cards, not only those manufactured by MSI.
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