Usually we don’t dedicate an entire page to video card temperatures, but it was included this time around as it seems that it has become an area of concern among enthusiasts and gamers. Since the ATI Radeon HD 3850 is a single slot graphics card, it means that all the heat produced by the card is released entirely back into the chassis. To get load temperature results we used ATI tool to heat up the cards and used the ATI CATAYST Control Center to get idle and load temperatures.
With the ATI Tool open, the video card was rendering the object in the picture above at over 900 frames per second. This object puts the GPU at 99% load, which is great for heating up the car. We let it run for half an hour and it was enough to get the card up to 92 degrees Celsius. 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 card installed in a case. Let’s take a look to see how the Radeon HD 3850 does against other ATI Radeon HD graphics cards.
Benchmark Results: The Radeon HD 3850 is significantly warmer at both idle and load when compared to the Radeon HD 2600XT that it replaces. The Radeon HD 2900 XT is warmer at idle, but once the 2900XT hits 70C, its huge fan kicks on and cools the card down enough to where it won’t go over 70C. The Radeon HD 3850 on the other hand goes all the way up to 92C at load and while ATI confirmed that our results are within specifications, it does seem mighty warm. Companies like Sapphire will have a passive Radeon HD 3850, but I haven’t seen how big the passive cooler is yet.