With the new GPU heat sink we were curious to see just how much improvement was made over the reference GPU cooler of the Radeon HD 5850. We took readings of each GPU at idle and under load. Keep in mind that results are NOT apples to apples since the ASUS EAH5850 TOP has a higher default voltage than a reference card. We ran each card through the first test of 3D Mark Vantage and recorded the temperature with the MSI Afterburner utility. This is a handy program as it keeps a nice log of your temperature/clock speeds/fan speed.
Click on the image to see a higher quality screen shot.
Reference Radeon HD 5850
ASUS EAH5850 TOP
With a higher clock speed and more voltage by default, the ASUS EAH5850 TOP was able to drop idle temperatures 4c and load temperatures by 5c. Fan speed peaked at 35% for the ASUS and 28% for the reference card, both of which are nearly silent. Very impressive work by ASUS and their Direct CU heat sink!
You might also notice that we have Real Temp GT running in both screen shots. Notice that the CPU temperature is slightly warmer with the ASUS EAH5850 TOP graphics card. This is because the heat sink pushes some of its heat into the rest of the system instead of the outside of the case as the reference card does. While 1-2c across each core isn’t a huge problem, this was over just about a 2 minute test. If you are gaming for long periods it may come out to be a bit more than that. If your CPU is already pushing the envelope on safe temperatures this extra heat could be just enough to push it over the edge and cause a crash. It’s not a deal breaker by any means, but something to be aware of.