Radeon R9-290X Crossfire vs GeForce GTX 780 SLI review

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Graphics card temperatures

Graphics card temperatures

So here we'll have a look at GPU temperatures. First up, IDLE (desktop) temperatures.

IDLE temperatures are always a tiny bit tricky to read out as Windows Aero could have an effect on this. Overall anything below 50 Degrees C is considered okay, anything below 40 Degrees C is very nice. We threw in some cards at random that we have recently tested in the above chart. But what happens when we are gaming? We fire off an intense game-like application at the graphics card and measure the highest temperature of the GPU. 

So with the cards fully stressed we kept monitoring temperatures and noted down the GPU temperature of the hottest card.

  • R9 290X CFX - The temperature under heavy game stress for the card stabilized 95 Degrees C. 

Now AMD states that the temperature is perfectly normal and within specifications. But we have to admit, that is very high, especially when you have two setup in Crossfire. Please make sure your PC is extremely well ventilated at all times, this will seriously help you on the overall GPU temperatures. It feels a little like the GeForce GTX 480 launch, just likwe that car after an intensive gaming session the cards will get so hot that you can't touch them by hand really.

For Crossfire installation we recommend to leave as much space inbewteen the cards as possible. 

AMD On The Temperatures:

I wanted to highlight our new PowerTune mechanism, as some of you have expressed concerns around acoustics and temperature. As noted in our explanation of the new mechanisms included in PowerTune on the 290 Series, we have designed the 290 Series to operate at a steady state of 95C. By running at 95C, we are both maximizing the performance and minimizing the acoustics of the product. We do this by increasing clocks/voltages and/or reducing the fan speed until the GPU runs at the temperature target. By having the GPU target at lower temperature, you sacrifice either performance or acoustics.

Some of you have expressed concern over the GPU running at 95C. Be assured, that 95C is a perfectly safe temperature at which the GPU can operate for its entire life. There is no technical reason to reduce the target temperature below 95C. However, like all aspects of PowerTune, this is completely within the control of the end user. If you would rather have you GPU operate at a lower temperature, such as 85C or 73C, we strongly encourage you to customize it to your preference and write about it in your review. This is, after all, the reason that we design products with this level of flexibility.

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