Nvidia’s reference cooler is adequate for cooling the massive GK110 chip at stock speeds. Even the more powerful GTX 780 Ti uses the same cooler. However we can confirm that the EVGA’s ACX cooler is superior to the reference design as it keeps the GPU temperatures below 75 degrees. Reference cards can easily hit 81 degrees Celsius.
The Classified is audible if you mute your PC during gaming, but it never gets very loud and it is not as loud as the reference card in 3D. In idle mode the difference is practically negligible, i.e. both cards are practically inaudible. The ACX cooler ensures your card maintains the maximum boost clock all the time.
The fan management is excellent and two 90mm fans won’t surprise you with sudden RPM changes. The fan gradually accelerates when we start a game and slowly decelerates when we’re done.