|ASUS ENGTX460 DirectCU TOP/2DI/1GD5|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Sunday, 08 August 2010|
Page 16 of 20
ASUS ENGTX460 TOP Temperatures
Benchmark tests are always nice, so long as you care about comparing one product to another. But when you're an overclocker, gamer, or merely a PC 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 Video Cards, which gives detailed instruction on how to tweak a graphics cards for better performance. Of course, not every video card has overclocking 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's "Torture Test" to generate maximum thermal load and record GPU temperatures at high-power 3D mode. The ambient room temperature remained at a stable 20°C throughout testing, while the inner-case temperature hovered around 34°C.
FurMark does two things extremely well: drive the thermal output of any graphics processor higher than applications of video games realistically could, and it does so with consistency every time. Furmark works great for testing the stability of a GPU as the temperature rises to the highest possible output. The temperatures discussed below are absolute maximum values, and not representative of real-world performance.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 1GB Video Card Temperatures
Beginning with the NVIDIA reference design, the 1GB GeForce GTX 460 kept cool at idle and warmed up to a mere 65°C after a lengthy FurMark stress test. Compared to other Fermi products, the GeForce GTX 460 is a chilly alternative.
ASUS ENGTX460 DirectCU TOP/2DI/1GD5 Temperatures
NVIDIA-supplied product specifications state that the GeForce GTX 460 has a maximum GPU thermal threshold of 104°C. We've noted that this new GF104 threshold is one degree less than GF100 Fermi products. In a room with 20°C ambient temperature, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 produced a near-ambient 25°C at idle with no audible fan noise. Under load, the ASUS ENGTX460 DirectCU TOP produced a mere 59°C and remained silent. While the ASUS ENGTX460 DirectCU TOP cooling solution certainly proves its worth, overclockers must keep in mind that most air is exhausted back into the computer case.
Most new graphics cards from NVIDIA and ATI will expel heated air out through exhaust vents, which does not increase the internal case temperature. Our test system is an open-air chassis that allows the video card to depend on its own cooling solution for proper thermal management. Most gamers and PC hardware enthusiasts who use an aftermarket computer case with intake and exhaust fans will usually create a directional airflow current and lower internal temperatures a few degrees below the measurements we've recorded. To demonstrate this, we've built a system to illustrate the...
Traditional tower-style computer cases position internal hardware so that heat is expelled out through the back of the unit. This is better than nothing, but there's a fundamental problem: heat rises. Using the transverse mount design on the SilverStone Raven-2 chassis, Benchmark Reviews re-tested the ASUS ENGTX460 DirectCU TOP video card to determine the 'best-case' scenario.
Sitting idle at the Windows 7 desktop with a 20°C ambient room temperature, the ASUS ENGTX460 DirectCU TOP rested at 25°C, which is identical to temperatures in a traditional computer case. Pushed to abnormally high levels using the FurMark torture test, the ASUS ENGTX460 DirectCU TOP operated at 61°C with a very quiet cooling fan. This results is actually a little warmer than previously recorded, but after some investigation it seems that the large heat-pipe ASUS cooling solution is better suited to a horizontal orientation. Although the well-designed Raven-2 computer case offers additional cooling features and has helped to make a difference in other video cards, this wasn't the case with this GTX 460... not that it matters at this low-level temperature.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 Thermal Cooling Solution Heatsink
In the traditional (horizontal) position, the slightly angled heat-pipe rods use gravity and sintering to draw cooled liquid back down to the base. When positioned in a transverse mount case such as the SilverStone Raven-2, the ASUS ENGTX460 DirectCU TOP heatsink loses optimal effective properties in the two lower heat-pipe rods, because gravity takes keeps the cool liquid in the lowest portion of the rods within the finsink.