PowerColor 5770 PCS+ Vortex ReviewRHKCommander959 -
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Temperature testing will be accomplished by loading the video card to 100% using MSI Kombuster, which is paired with MSI's Afterburner overclocking utility for temperature monitoring. I will be using the stability test set to a resolution of 1920x1200 using 8xAA. I will use a 15 minute time frame to run the test, ensuring that the maximum thermal threshold is reached. The fan speed will be left in the control of the driver package and video card's BIOS for the first test, with the fan moved to 100% to see the best possible cooling scenario for overclocking. The idle test will be a 20 minute cool down with the fan speeds left on automatic.
- Monitoring with MSI Afterburner
- GPU Stability test in MSI Kombuster
- 15 minute load duration
- 20 minute idle duration
- Temperature measured in degrees Celsius
Lower = Better
Two runs were done for each test of the Vortex, once with the fan in the default position and again with the fan raised - this is labeled Vortex 2. With the gap between the fan and heat sink, performance improved in three out of four tests by one to two degrees. The overclocked tests force the fan to run at 100%, while the stock testing lets the software control the fan. The highest I saw the fan ramp up to was 40%, so I believe that at load, without forcing an increase of fan speed, the back pressure of air trying to pass the heat sink fins, combined with having to traverse the gap, is what actually made the performance worse in stock load testing. When forced to 100%, there is a measurable gain - not a huge difference, but an improvement nonetheless. If the fan was forced to run higher at stock speeds, then there should be an improvement at stock load testing as well.