Originally Posted by moustang
You may disagree but he is mostly correct.
For example, the MSI Gaming and Gaming X cards are whisper quiet even under full load and run significantly cooler than the FEs did. There is very minimal, if any throttling, and no reason to change fan profiles. Coil whine is non-existent in the MSI cards. I've been using mine for 2 weeks and have yet to hear a hint of coil whine in any benchmark or game.
And yes, my Gaming X is humming along quite nicely at 2113mhz and 5554mhz memory, without an EK block.
Also he used the EVGA GTX 980 Ti FTW as an example, but EVGA's 900 series ACX coolers are known to be quite loud unlike the 1080's ACX 3.0. Every review of aftermarket GTX 1080s compares them to FE, so you can just look at their results and see for yourself. The FE is hotter and louder than every aftermarket GTX 1080 according to every review I've seen.
MSI really cares about noise. Again, the loudest components in my PC are two Silverstone AP182s running at about 1000 RPM. My MSI GTX 1080 Armor OC cannot be heard over them even at 100%. I'm surprised this card with such a small heatsink doesn't ever get loud. Top fan speed is about 2300 RPM for reference, according to MSI Afterburner. The GAMING and GAMING X are bound to be more quiet and much cooler.