|XFX Radeon HD5830 DX11 Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Bruce Normann|
|Friday, 26 March 2010|
Page 14 of 17
XFX Radeon HD5830 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.
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 24C throughout testing. The XFX Radeon HD 5830 video card recorded 35C in idle 2D mode, and increased to 89C after 20 minutes of stability testing in full 3D mode, at 1920x1200 resolution, and the maximum MSAA setting of 8X. With the fan set on Automatic, the speed rose from 21% at idle to 50% under full load. I then set the fan speed manually, using Catalyst Control Center, to 70% and ran the load test again, and the GPU reached a maximum temperature of 81C.
89C is not a particularly good result for temperature stress testing, but with stock fan settings and fan speeds controlled by the card, it's the temperature XFX obviously feels comfortable with. I rarely do any benchmarking with fans set on Automatic, preferring to give the GPU or CPU the best shot at surviving the day intact. With an integrated temperature controller in play though, I want to see how the manufacturer programmed the system. 81C is obviously a better result, and running the fan on Manual at 70% is not unusual or unwarranted when running such a punishing benchmark as FurMark. With only a single axial fan running, the noise at 70% speed was not objectionable, and I wouldn't have any problem leaving it there permanently. Unfortunately, due to the simple 2-wire DC motor controller, I can't tell you the actual RPMs produced, only the percentages that were reported in GPU-Z.
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...