|ASUS ENGTX260 Matrix GeForce GTX 260 Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Bruce Normann - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Thursday, 14 May 2009|
Page 12 of 15
ENGTX260 Matrix Temperature
Benchmark Reviews has a very popular guide written on Overclocking the NVIDIA GeForce Video Card, which gives detailed instruction on how to tweak a GeForce graphics card for better performance. Of course, not every video card has the head room. Some products run so hot that they can't suffer any higher temperatures than they already do. This is why we measure the operating temperature of the video card products we test.
To begin my testing, I use GPU-Z to measure the temperature at idle as reported by the GPU. Next I use FurMark 1.6.0 to generate maximum thermal load and record GPU temperatures at high-power 3D mode. The ambient room temperature remained stable at 24C throughout testing. The ASUS ENGTX260 Matrix video card recorded 42C in idle 2D mode, and increased to 74C after 20 minutes of stability testing in full 3D mode at 1920x1200 resolution.
FurMark is an OpenGL benchmark that heavily stresses and overheats the graphics card with fur rendering. The benchmark offers several options allowing the user to tweak the rendering: fullscreen / windowed mode, MSAA selection, window size, duration. The benchmark also includes a GPU Burner mode (stability test). FurMark requires an OpenGL 2.0 compliant graphics card with lot of GPU power! As an oZone3D.net partner, Benchmark Reviews offers a free download of FurMark to our visitors.
FurMark does do two things extremely well: drive the thermal output of any graphics processor higher than any other application or video game, and it does so with consistency every time. While Furmark is not a true benchmark tool for comparing different video cards, it still works well to compare one product against itself using different drivers or clock speeds, or testing the stability of a GPU, as it raises the temperatures higher than any program. But in the end, it's a rather limited tool.
I admit that 74°C is not the lowest temperature I saw during these test, but it's a good result, coming in just slightly below the Palit GTX260 Sonic 216SP card, which also has a beefed up cooler with dual fans. It's also not the highest, as the 4890 and GTX285 products hovered in the mid 80s while running Furmark in stability testing mode. I know all of you can do the math, but for those of us in the U.S., it still amazes me that these chips can run at 185°F and above for extended periods. The human body is physiologically incapable of holding on to any object that's hotter than 140°F, so yes, these chips are literally too hot to touch.