GeForce GTX 1070 2-way SLI review

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Graphics Card Thermal Imaging Measurements (FLIR)

Thermal Imaging Temperature Measurements

A new addition to our reviews will be the inclusion of Forward Looking Infra Red thermal images of hardware. Over the past years we have been trying to figure out what the best possible way is to measure temperatures on hardware. Multiple options are available but the best thing to do is to visualize heat coming from the product or component being tested. The downside of thermal imaging hardware is simple, FLIR camera's with a bit of decent resolution costs up-to 10,000 EUR. Hence we passed on it for a long time. With a thermal imaging camera a special lens focuses the infrared light emitted by all of the objects in view. This focused light is scanned by a phased array of infrared-detector elements. The detector elements create a very detailed temperature pattern called a thermogram. It only takes about one-thirtieth of a second for the detector array to obtain the temperature information to make the thermogram. This information is obtained from several thousand points in the field of view of the detector array. The thermogram created by the detector elements is translated into electric impulses. The impulses are sent to a signal-processing unit, a circuit board with a dedicated chip that translates the information from the elements into data for the display. The signal-processing unit sends the information to the display, where it appears as various colors depending on the intensity of the infrared emission. The combination of all the impulses from all of the elements creates the image. We can seek hotspots on the PCB indicating, for example, GPU but also VRM temperature as well as how heat is distributed throughout a product. We do hope you will enjoy this new technology as it did cost us an arm and a leg to be able to implement it. 


We can measure pretty accurate temperatures at the GPUs and VRM areas. We can measure thermals down to a 10th of a degree, our thermal camera is calibrated.

  • We reach roughly 73 degrees C on M1, the GPU marker at the back-plate, which is spot on with what the thermal sensor reports back.
  • At M3 (Measure Point 3) the PCB area can be measured it runs just close to 55 Degrees C on that spot, that is considered to be a very normal temperature. Make sure you have plenty airflow inside your chassis as that will always help. 
  • At M2 we are a bit closer to the VRM area at 57 Degrees C, the backplate is however blocking the reading.


When we position the thermal camera outwards we can see that the overall cooler design really works well. The hottest point is the top side of the card where there is some residual PCB heat detected. M1/M2 is the hottest spot at ~71 Degrees C. Remember, this is the graphics card 100% stressed.


The majority of heat is exhausted, however at position M1 we do see that quite a bit of heat is pushed to that location, and that ends up in your PC. The overall thermal image can be rated as good but with SLI you will need proper ventilation inside your chassis.

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