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 SAPPHIRE HD 7970 OC had an idle temperature of 34C and ran at 64C during gaming sessions. These temperatures are slightly higher than the MSI R7970 Lighting, but not bad my any means. We wanted to due testing at 1000MHz as well, but we are having a heat wave in our area right now and are having a hard time controlling the temperature of our test lab with everything running as the outside temperature is 103F or 39C.
SAPPHIRE HD 7970 OC Furmark:
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 Sapphire HD 7970 OC 3GB did great in sound testing and runs very quiet. We do notice some choke whine from this card during use though, which was a little annoying. It doesn’t ‘buzz’ or ‘whine’ at an idle, but when you fire up a game you can hear the chokes humming over the fans!