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 the graphics cards do at idle, during gaming and finally under a full load.
We recorded temperatures during several scenarios on each of the cards we tested today and the benchmark results are shown above. The XFX Radeon HD 7950 Black Edition had an idle temperature of 34 degrees while the AMD Radeon HD 7970 was a little warmer at 40 degrees. Firing up Furmark the XFX Radeon HD 7950 BE warmed up to 74 degrees while the AMD Radeon HD 7950 hit 76 degrees. Gaming with HAWX2 brought the XFX Radeon HD 7950 up to 69 degrees while the AMD Radeon HD 7950 reference card was actually cooler than the XFX with only 67 degrees.
When we were testing the XFX and AMD video cards we noticed that they sounded completely different, so we took out our trusty sound meter to get some numbers.
With our sound meter placed at the edge of the motherboard we were able to measure a decent difference in decibels between the cards. The AMD Radeon HD 7950 was the quietest of all the cards at idle with only 49 decibels. Somewhat surprisingly it was 6dB quieter than the dual fan solution of the XFX Radeon HD 7950 BE. Once the AMD Radeon HD 7950 started to heat up, it remained the quietest card out of all of them. When we fired up Furmark the XFX Radeon HD 7950 spun up to 66 decibels while the AMD Radeon HD 7950 was whispering along at only 62 decibels. Gaming with HAWX2 also displayed a noticeable difference between the cards. The XFX Radeon HD hit 58 decibels while the AMD Radeon HD 7950 was only 55 decibels.