Sapphire Radeon HD 6990 Reviewccokeman -
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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 stock load test, with the fan moved to 100% to see the best possible cooling scenario for the overclocked load test. The idle test will be a 20 minute cool down with the fan speeds left on automatic in the stock speed testing and bumped up to 100% when running the overclocked idle and load testing. For load testing the GTX 580 and GTX 570, I will use Crysis Warhead run at 2560x1600 using the Gamer setting with 8xAA looping the Avalanche benchmark scenario, as I have found this to put a load close to that of Kombuster on a video card. This is needed as a way around the current limiting ability of the GTX 500 series when it detects programs that put an unrealistic load on the GPU, which Kombuster does.
- 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
The temperatures delivered by the HD 6990 are respectable and mirror the HD 5970 in all the testing save the overclocked testing where the HD 6990 is 15 degrees cooler based on the new cooling design. The only problem is that the solution is incredibly loud when pushed to the upper limits of the fan speed. The other down side is that 50% of the air flows out into the chassis. This in turn will raise the temperatures of the components in the chassis if the airflow through the chassis is not sufficient to remove the heat.