|XFX Radeon HD5770 Video Card HD-577A-ZN|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Bruce Normann|
|Wednesday, 28 October 2009|
Page 16 of 19
XFX Radeon HD5770 Temperature
It's hard to know exactly when the first video card got overclocked, and by whom. What we do know is that it's hard to imagine a computer enthusiast or gamer today that doesn't overclock their hardware. 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 generate straight from the factory. This is why we measure the operating temperature of the video card products we test.
We've already seen in our previous reviews of Juniper-based video cards that the half pint chip runs impressively cool, paired with fairly basic cooling components. Now that we've overclocked both the GPU and the memory, we need an extra margin of error in the cooling department. Normally, the stock blower runs about 1200 RPM, and increases with higher loads to somewhere between 1600 and 1700 RPM, depending on how hard you push the card in its stock configuration. I wanted to see how cool I could keep the GPU with maximum overclocks, so I clicked on the "Enable Manual Fan Control" check box and zoomed that fan up to 100%, which I found out is 4000 RPM. Loud, yes? Effective, yes? Would I eventually end up trying to turn it down, until it made a difference in stability, yes? For now, let's just revel in the fact that overkill settings are readily available in the factory driver package.
To begin testing, I use GPU-Z to measure the temperature at idle as reported by the GPU. Next I use FurMark 1.7.0 to generate maximum thermal load and record GPU temperatures at high-power 3D mode. The ambient room temperature remained stable at 22C throughout testing. The ATI Radeon HD5770 video card recorded 31C in idle 2D mode, and increased to 51C after 20 minutes of stability testing in full 3D mode, at 1920x1200 resolution and the maximum MSAA setting of 8X. I don't think I need to tell you that 51C is an astonishingly low temperature for an overclocked, mid-range gaming card getting kicked around by FurMark. This cooling package can take everything you and Juniper can throw at it.
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.
In our next section, we discuss electrical power consumption and learn how well (or poorly) each video card will impact your utility bill...