|XFX R7970 Black Edition Radeon Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Monday, 09 January 2012|
Page 14 of 18
XFX 7970 DD 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 headroom. 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.
At the start of the test, I measure the idle temperature of the card with the card sitting at the Windows desktop, using the GPU-Z utility. Next, I start FurMark's stress test and let it run until the temperature curve flattens and the temperature has not varied more than 1 degree in the last five minutes.
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.
Equipped with a very energy-efficient 28nm GPU and an enhanced vapor chamber cooler, the R7970 Black Edition Double Dissipation returns temperatures a good 20 degrees lower under stress than I've seen from an NVIDIA GTX 580 card...and that's when the card is overclocked beyond its already overclocked specs!
At stock specifications, the fan RPM maxed out at 39%; when overclocked, the fans reached 49% of their maximum. Even at 49% fan speed, the noise from the card was not objectionable. At 39% it was audible but quiet. If you're familiar with the Dustbuster-level of sound previous generations of high end graphics cards can generate under load, this will come as a welcome relief.