Using ATI and NVIDIA Video Cards To Make A Sauna

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Finding The Temperatures

To figure out the temperatures of these video cards at their hottest, we fired up the DirectX 10 PC game demo called Lost Planet and let the video card run looped for an extended period of time before recording the temperatures. 

The XFX GeForce 8800 GTX Standard Edition:

First up to the plate is the XFX GeForce 8800 GTX video card.  We simply took a piece of paper and laid it around the video card so the air is blown on the piece of paper.

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The paper that was about an inch away from the air outlet of the GeForce 8800 GTX was found to be 55.5 Celcius or 131.9 Fahrenheit. No wonder my office was heating up! We tried testing the GeForce 8800GTX with and without the rear external exhaust blocked and found that it didn’t change the high temperature observed from the side air exhaust.  Since the side air exhaust had more air coming out that the rear, so the measurement was taken from here.

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The back of the PCB directly behind the GPU was observed to be 65.5 Celcius or 149.9 Fahrenheit. This seems hot, but I wonder how the GeForce 8800 GTS and Radeon HD 2900 XT will do.

The BFG Tech GeForce 8800 GTS OC 640MB:

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The paper that was about an inch away from the air outlet of the BFG Tech GeForce 8800 GTS OC 640MB was found to be 54.0 Celcius or 129.2 Fahrenheit, which isn’t much cooler than the XFX GeForce 8800 GTX that we tested above.

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The back of the PCB directly behind the GPU was observed to be 53.5 Celcius or 128.3 Fahrenheit, which was interesting seeing how this is roughly the same temperature as the exhaust air.

The ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT:

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Since the ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT exhausts all the air out the rear of the card I made a perfect hole for the DVI connector and placed the piece of paper in its spot for testing.  The paper in front of the air outlet on the ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT was found to be 48.5 Celcius or 119.3 Fahrenheit. This is 7 degrees Celcius cooler than the GeForce 8800 GTX.  

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The back of the PCB directly behind the GPU was observed to be 63.5 Celcius or 146.3 Fahrenheit. This two degrees Celcius cooler than the GeForce 8800 GTX.  It’s very obvious that the back of the card gets hot!

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