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 GeForce GTX 680 had an idle temperature of 35C, which is mighty impressive for being such a high-end enthusiast graphics card. Firing up Furmark the card heated up to 81C and after running a few loops of the H.A.W.X. 2 benchmark the card peaked at 78C. The GPU cooler on this card is very quiet, but as you can see the temperatures do get up fairly high. We should note that the AMD Radeon HD 7970 with the reference cooler does get hotter in Furmark than the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680!
We recently upgraded our sound meter to an Extech sound level meter with ±1.5dB accuracy that meets Type 2 standards. This meter ranges from 35dB to 90dB on the low measurement range, which is perfect for us as our test room usually averages around 38dB. We measure the sound level two inches above the corner of the motherboard with ‘A’ frequency weighting. The microphone wind cover is used to make sure no wind is blowing across the microphone, which would seriously throw off the data.
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 did excellent in our audio testing. At idle the GeForce GTX 680 came in at 42.7dB and peaked at 56.7dB in Furmark! Fan speed ramped up and down smoothly and we observed the GTX 680 at 1110 RPM at idle, 2100 RPM in games and 2400 RPM in Furmark. We found the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 with the reference cooler to be quieter than the MSI R7970 Lighting with the new Twin Frozr IV GPU cooler at both idle and full load in Furmark! In the games they were on par with each other!