|ASUS ENGTX560 Ti DCII TOP Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Servando Silva|
|Sunday, 13 February 2011|
Page 15 of 17
ASUS ENGTX560 Ti DCII 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. FurMark does two things extremely well: drive the thermal output of any graphics processor much higher than any 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. During all tests, the ambient room temperature remained at a stable 20°C. The temperatures discussed below are absolute maximum values, and may not be representative of real-world temperatures while gaming:
Even if the GPU carries 2x 80mm fans, speeds can be read with MSI Afterburner without problems. At idle mode, the GPU is very silent. The fans rotate at 1380rpm (17%) keeping the temperature at merely 32 degrees. However, once I launched Furmark temps sky-rocketed to 83 degrees at auto mode. This resulted into a very noisy setup with both fans running at 3200rpm (50% is what AB reports). Manually setting the GPU fans at 100% resulted into 4620rpm. At that speed, temps didn't pass over 73 degrees, which is still very high for the GTX 560 Ti, especially if you're paying some extra money for a decent cooler.
When I started gaming with some demanding titles the temperatures were much lower. After running Unigine's Heaven Benchmark for 30 minutes, the GPU core barely reached 75 degrees, which isn't that great for overclocking. Any other game like Metro 2033 or Crysis produced less heat, barely passing 70 degrees. At this point, I'm very disappointed with ASUS DirectCU II cooler's design. They really achieved to sell a nearly silent GPU at Idle mode, but it really fails at load conditions. I was expecting something more like the MSI GTX 560 Ti Twin Frozr design, which keeps the GPU Core below 60 degrees. Instead, ASUS ships a GPU which barely performs as the Nvidia's Reference Cooler; it just looks better.
ASUS ENGTX560 Ti DCII TOP Overclocking
When it comes to overclocking I usually get excited and try many things to achieve the best solid overclock with the GPU, especially if it's known to be a good one, which is the case of the GTX 560 Ti GPUs. Now that we've voltage control over many GPUs via software applications like MSI Afterburner, the only thing we need to keep in mind is heat. Since this is an already overclocked card, I'm not expecting to see that much of a change. I quickly installed the latest version of MSI Afterburner (2.1.7) to start doing some 3DMark damage at the orb.
It turns out that if you have a so-so cooler design, you can't achieve superb clocks. While I reached 970MHz fully stable at Furmark and benchmarks with just 1075mV, I couldn't reach the magic 1GHz number; not even increasing Core voltage up to 1150mV (which is the limit with MSI Afterburner. In fact, if I increased voltages, temperatures got worst and then I had more problems to stabilize the GPU at the same frequency. Keep in mind that this is still an 18% OC from Nvidia's reference model, and it leads to better gaming performance. Temperatures also increased by 2-3 degrees, but nothing to be afraid of (more than I was after looking at those ugly results up there).