The GeForce 10 series of graphics cards from NVIDIA are extremely powerful, but also power-efficient, making them ideal candidates to use for a silent gaming computer. Of the 3 cards currently available, which should you choose? The answer depends on how much power you want and the budget you can afford. However, here we will take a quick look at the other factor important for silence, which is the power usage. The amount of power the CPU or GPU uses directly affects how much heat will be generated, and thus whether it can be cooled silently without getting too hot.
In my Completely Silent Gaming PC Build (2015): Open Air Edition, I use a GTX 980 with a Prolimatech MK-26 cooler and two Noiseblocker M12-S1 fans. I find that this gives me temperatures that generally don’t exceed the 80 degrees Celsius range. The GTX 980 has a TDP (Thermal Design Power) of 165W.
In comparison, the GTX 1080 has a TDP of 180W, GTX 1070 a TDP of 150W, and GTX 1060 a TDP of 120W (Source). Given these numbers, I would personally choose the GTX 1070, as it should run cooler than the GTX 980. The GTX 1080 may be a little too hot in certain games or applications. For those on a tighter budget, the GTX 1060 is a fine choice as well, with performance exceeding that of the GTX 980 for $250.