Since video card temperatures and the heat generated by
next-generation cards have become an area of concern among enthusiasts
and gamers, we want to take a closer look at how these cards generate
heat under load.
With the ATI Tool open, the video card was rendering the object in the picture above which put the GPU at 99% load, which is great for heating up the card. We let it run for half an hour and it was enough to get the GeForce 9600 GT up to 67 degrees Celsius from its idle temp of 41 degrees Celsius. Once we overclocked the card to the settings you will see below, our temps went to 46 degrees Celsius at idle to 71 degrees Celsius at load. These temps are really pretty good. At default speeds, the ATI card that we used in our testing ran quite a bit warmer just at idle speeds. With the 3850 we saw temps of 44 degrees Celsius at idle and 89 degrees Celsius at load. It should be noted that this was done on the open test bench with the motherboard laying flat, so expect slightly higher temperatures with the cards installed in a case.
We were quite pleased with the overclocking we were able to do on this card. As you can see from the above screenshot from GPU-Z, the default speeds on the card are 650 MHz for the GPU clock, 900 MHz for the memory clock and 1625 MHz for the Shader clock. Using Powerstrip for our overclocking, we were able to get 755 MHz out of the GPU, 1170 MHz out of the memory and 1888 MHz out of the Shader clock. That is a pretty good overclock! Just to give you an example of the performance increase you will get from this oveclock, our Crysis scores looked like this with the overclocked settings: