|ATI Radeon HD 4770 RV740 DDR5 Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 28 April 2009|
Page 12 of 14
Radeon HD 4770 Temperatures
This section is probably the most popular for me, not so much as a reviewer but more for my enthusiast side. Benchmark tests are always nice, so long as you care about comparing one product to another. But when you're an overclocker, or merely a hardware enthusiast who likes to tweak things on occasion, there's no substitute for good information.
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 remains stable at 21.0°C throughout testing, while the inner-case temperature hovered around 36°C. The ATI Radeon HD 4770 video card recorded 54°C in idle 2D mode, and increased to 76°C in full 3D mode.
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 a 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 of video game, and it does so with consistency every time. While I have proved that Furmark is not a true benchmark tool for comparing video cards, it would still work very well to compare one product against itself at different stages. FurMark would be very useful for comparing the same GPU against itself using different drivers or clock speeds, of 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.
Considering the results, I will admit that 76°C is not the kind of temperature expected from the 40nm RV740 GPU; especially when it's extremely close to what the new RV790 offers the HD4890. Because of the small 137mm2 contact footprint from the new 826-million transistor GPU matched to a double-height cooler, I wasn't sure what to expect for cooling performance. Ultimately, I was pleased, and for gamers who like to keep it cool the surprisingly silent fan under load can be dialed up using free tools such as RivaTuner.
The most favored feature of past upper-level GeForce designs has been the focused exhaust design. Heated air recirculating around inside the computer case is could reduce stability for your sensitively overclocked computer system. While 76°C is considerably warm under maximum load, it's more than twenty degrees cooler than a reference-design Radeon HD 4890. This is what sets the RV790 apart from the RV740. In the end, the 40nm fabrication process makes the ATI Radeon HD 4770 a more flexible graphics solution for multiple SKUs among card partners.