|HIS Radeon HD6870 IceQ-X Turbo-X Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Steven Iglesias-Hearst|
|Friday, 03 June 2011|
Page 15 of 18
HIS HD6870 IceQ X Turbo X 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 24°C throughout testing. 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.
As previously stated my ambient temperature remained at a stable 24°C throughout the testing procedure, the cooler is quity efficient and a heavy load from FurMark raises the temperature from 36°C (39% fan speed) idle to only 64°C load with an automatic fan speed of 56%. Putting the fan on manual and cranking it up to 100% saw the temperature drop to 57°C and the noise level at max speed is honestly still quite bearable, giving us a nice 7°C improvement in load temperature.
While the temperature tests went without a hitch, it seems the default fan profile on the HIS HD6870 IceQ X Turbo X video card wasn't aggressive enough during a couple of our heavier benchmarks (Vantage: New Calico and Unigine Heaven), this meant that the GPU was heating up faster than the cooler could respond, which resulted in the GPU shutting down to protect itself. My solution to this was to set up a fan profile in MSI Afterburner (v2.2.0 Beta 3) which kept the GPU temperature in check and also allowed for some overclocking. The only other option would have been to down clock the GPU speed.
I didn't take a screen shot of the default profile but the above image shows what I have the current fan profile set to. After some testing with the fan set to constant speeds of 100% / 90% / 80% / 70% and 60%, and the HIS HD6870 IceQ X Turbo X video card finishing the tests without shutting down, I was able to devise my own fan profile. The obvious conclusion I came to was that the fan needed to be spinning faster at a lower temperature in order to stop the temperature of the GPU rising too quickly, which was causing it to shut down. Thankfully afterburner is able to run these settings for me when windows starts but there is always the option of editing the BIOS using the techPowerUp RBE tool (Radeon BIOS Editor) to make it a permanent change.
In the next section we will look at power consumption figures, let's go.