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 and under a full load.
AMD Radeon HD 6950 1GB Video Card Idle Temperature:
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti Video Card Idle Temperature:
As you can see from the screen shot above, the idle state of the Radeon HD 6900 series drops the GPU core clock frequency down to 250MHz and the memory clock down to 150MHz to help conserve power and lower temperatures. At idle on an open test bench the Radeon HD 6950 video card temperature was observed at 49C. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti had even lower power idle states of 50.6MHz on the GPU core clock and 135MHz on the memory. These clocks combined with the NVIDIA designed cooler showed that we had an idle temperature of just 27C.
We fired up FurMark and ran the stability at 640×480, which was
enough to put the GPU core at 100% load in order to get the highest
temperature possible. This application also charts the temperature
results so you can see how the temperature rises and levels off, which
is very nice. The fans on the video cards were
left on auto during temperature testing. When we hit the space bar to stop the rendering the
AMD Radeon HD 6950 1GB Video Card Load Temperature:
The AMD Radeon HD 6950 1GB peaked at 87C. It should be noted that AMD PowerTune is kicking on and limiting
these cards from getting any hotter. You can see the throttling taking place in Furmark if you leave GPU-Z open and look at the GPU Core Clock. You can see that the core clock is jumping all over the place when Furmark is running.
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti got up to 85C, so both cards got up to roughly the same temperature in this test.
When it comes to noise levels both cards were quieter than the CPU cooler on our test system, so no complaints there. At full load with the cards near 90C they were both audible, but not too bad. If we had to pick a noise winner at full load it would have to be the GeForce GTX 560 Ti. The GeForce GTX 560 Ti was cooler at both idle and load!