Galaxy GeForce 9800 GT 1024MB review | test -
Setup | Noise | Power consumption | Heat levels
Setting up the PC
Installing the card into your system will be a pretty easy job. Just slide the card into a free PCIe slot, connect one 6-pin connector to the card. I do recommend you buy a decent stable PSU with some reserves, always.
Once the card is installed we start up Windows. We installed our driver, rebooted and that was it. The card will work straight out of the box. Just the way we like it.
It's time to do some actual testing with this card. We'll start off by showing you some tests we have done on overall power consumption of the PC, looking at it from a performance versus wattage point of view.
Sidenote: we recently upgraded our test-platform, which by itself utilizes a lot of energy.
The new test PC is based on Core i7 965 / X58 based and overclocked to 3.7 GHz. Next to that we have energy saving functions disabled for this motherboard and processor (to ensure consistent benchmark results).
The ASUS motherboard also allows adding power phases for stability, which we enabled as well. I'd say in total on average we are using roughly 50 to 100 Watts more than a standard PC due to these high-end settings and then add to that the CPU overclock, water-cooling, UV lights, optical drive and HDDs. Keep that in mind.
Our normal system power consumption is higher than the average system.
- System in IDLE = 186 Watts
- System with GPU in FULL Stress = 268 Watts
A fairly standard power supply will be more than sufficient for this graphics card. Any reasonable 450-500 Watt PSU and above will suffice. We test a lot of PSUs, check out some good ones over here.
The thermal envelope
Our Rivatuner application is a great one. We used it to monitor heat levels from the GPU.
Temperatures remain a little so-so really. I was not very impressed with the cooler. Idle temps are fine at 44 Degrees C and 111 Degrees F. These are fine really.
At full load however the temperature rises pretty quickly toward 80 Degrees C / 176 F and for a dual-slot cooler, I find that to be a little high. The product of course can deal with it fine though.
When graphics cards produce a lot of heat, that heat usually 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 many dBA originate 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 etc, so this is by a mile or two not a precise 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, where as frequencies between 1kHz and 6kHz are amplified by the A weighting.
|TYPICAL SOUND LEVELS|
|Jet takeoff (200 feet)||120 dBA|
|Construction Site||110 dBA||Intolerable|
|Shout (5 feet)||100 dBA|
|Heavy truck (50 feet)||90 dBA||Very noisy|
|Urban street||80 dBA|
|Automobile interior||70 dBA||Noisy|
|Normal conversation (3 feet)||60 dBA|
|Office, classroom||50 dBA||Moderate|
|Living room||40 dBA|
|Bedroom at night||30 dBA||Quiet|
|Broadcast studio||20 dBA|
|Rustling leaves||10 dBA||Barely audible|
Both in IDLE and active RPM states the fans are hardly noticeable. We measured roughly 43 dBA coming from the PC. Though the cooler is not extremely noisy it definitely can be heard pretty consistently.
In this review we'll have a peek at the warmongers from KFA2 (Galaxy), they unleash this cute little beastly looking GTX 550 Ti LTD OC White edition graphics card. And to make it even more special, they slapped all components on a sexy white PCB again. Armed with that atypical looking cooler you'll learn that this product makes no compromises, you will not hear it, it will not run hot and it even comes factory clocked at a full GHz, quite amazing as GPUs seem to slowly pass that weird 1 GHz threshold.
Galaxy GeForce 9800 GT 1024MB review | test
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Galaxy GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB review
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Our initial review of this product was taken offline as we received an early version of the product. This early version had a "beta" cooler on it that made a truck-load of noise. Galaxy claimed to have a new cooler ready and asked if if we could revise the review based on the new and final cooler. And therefore we have updated this initial article to revision 2; based on new facts with the final cooling solution implemented. And it sure is a lot better.