Let's have a look at the temperatures the reference based custom cooler offers.
We now fire off a hefty GPU intensive stress application at the GPU and start monitoring temperature behavior as it would be when you are gaming intensely and continuously.
Below, an overview of peak/maximum measured temperatures in comparison with other cards. The temperatures with your average game will typically be lower.
This card ran 39 degrees C in IDLE which is very good. When the GPU is stressed out 100% for several minutes the card reaches roughly 77 degrees C. For a GeForce GTX 570 these are okay enough numbers. Also, we measure at a room temperature of 21 degrees Celsius.
Now we use a very hefty 3D game application to stress the card, during gaming your numbers will most definitely be better. We are currently discussing in the team whether or not to change this policy, e.g. test temps with a hefty game, or use a synthetic stress test that agitates, irritates and dominates all registers in the GPU.
Noise Levels coming from the graphics card
When graphics cards produce a lot of heat, usually that heat needs to be transported away from the hot core as fast as possible. Often you'll see massive active fan solutions that can indeed get rid of the heat, yet all the fans these days make the PC a noisy son of a gun. I'm doing a little try out today with noise monitoring, so basically the test we do is extremely subjective. We bought a certified dBA meter and will start measuring how much dBA originates from the PC. Why is this subjective you ask? Well, there is always noise in the background, from the streets, from the HD, PSU fan etc, so this is, by a mile or two, an imprecise measurement. You could only achieve objective measurement in a sound test chamber.
The human hearing system has different sensitivities at different frequencies. This means that the perception of noise is not at all equal at every frequency. Noise with significant measured levels (in dB) at high or low frequencies will not be as annoying as it would be when its energy is concentrated in the middle frequencies. In other words, the measured noise levels in dB will not reflect the actual human perception of the loudness of the noise. That's why we measure the dBA level. A specific circuit is added to the sound level meter to correct its reading in regard to this concept. This reading is the noise level in dBA. The letter A is added to indicate the correction that was made in the measurement. Frequencies below 1kHz and above 6kHz are attenuated, whereas frequencies between 1kHz and 6kHz are amplified by the A weighting.
TYPICAL SOUND LEVELS
Jet takeoff (200 feet)
Shout (5 feet)
Heavy truck (50 feet)
Normal conversation (3 feet)
Bedroom at night
There's a lot of differences in measurements amongst websites. Some even place the dBA meter 10cm away from the card. Considering that's not where you ear is located, we do it our way.
For each dBA test we close the PC/chassis and move the dBA gun 75 cm away from the PC. Roughly the same proximity you'll have from a PC in a real-world situation.
The noise levels are perfectly under control, in fact the card is silent even under full stress. In Idle we measured 37 dBA which is under the PC noise level itself. When we stress the card until it nearly panics, we measure 40 dBA, and that's just perfect. And that is silent indeed.
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