|ZOTAC GeForce 8800 GT 512MB AMP! HDMI Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Sunday, 24 February 2008|
Page 12 of 14
ZOTAC 8800 GT AMP! Temperatures
This section is probably the most popular for me, as a reviewer. Benchmark tests are always nice, so long as you care about comparing one product to another. But when you're an overclocker, or merely a 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 How To Overclock the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 Series, but it was published shortly after the 8th generation of GeForce products was launched. Currently we are preparing for a more updated article, with additional information on shader overclocking and temperature control as the newest 9th generation GeForce products are made available.
Once published, you can expect more information like you see below for several different video cards. In the image below, the ZOTAC GeForce 8800 GT 512MB AMP! Edition HDMI output graphics card is depicted with core and exhaust temperatures at idle and under load.
To begin my testing, I used ATITool v0.26 to record GPU temperatures at idle and again at high-power 3D mode. The ambient room temperature was a cool 18.3°C and the inner-case temperature hovered around 30°C. The ZOTAC GeForce 8800 GT AMP! Edition video card recorded 49°C in idle 2D mode, and increased to only 67°C in full 3D mode. After recording the GPU temperatures as reported by ATITool, I used my Extech Instruments EX-450 IR Non-Contact Thermometer to capture the exhaust vent temperatures. At idle, the ZT-88TES3P-FCP produced 34°C and under full load it increased to a mere 49°C.
While heated air still an issue because it gets re-circulated back into the case, the improved cooling on this AMP! Edition video card offers results almost twice as cool as the reference design. This works out very well for those who plan to include this HDMI-capable video card in their HTPC build.
Even so, recirculated air is still exactly that, and the unfortunate truth is that it's exhausted into an area close to the expansion slot mounting plate, where very few fans can cool. Fortunately for me however, the Lian Li PC-B20A Aluminum Mid-Tower ATX Case I used to record these results has the BS-03 kit (included optional patent cooling slot kit) which mounts directly in front of the exhaust port on the graphics card and draws the heated air directly out of the case.
8800 GT AMP! Edition Heat Zones
Using the non-contact IR thermometer to record temperatures on the "top" side (when mounted into the motherboard) I discovered several hot spots in unlikely locations. If you study the image above, which uses the reference NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT circuit board layout, you'll discover that the right side of the video card is seriously under-cooled.
The detailed high-resolution temperature zone image is available to anyone who wishes to request it via e-mail only, but the image above should give an excellent idea as to where an overclocker may want to give extra attention in their next project.
Continue to the conclusion in the next section, where I share my thoughts on the ZT-88TES3P-FCP and give more comparative details between the new mid-level king.