XFX HD6950 1GB Overclocked Edition Reviewairman - March 27, 2011
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Temperature testing will be accomplished by loading the video card to 100% using MSI Kombuster, which is paired with MSI 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 2560 x 1600 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
Well, the cooler definitely handles idle and stock loads beautifully, but once it's overclocked it seems to fall apart! I didn't expect it to have a large difference, but that could possibly be because of the way that the fans exhaust into and around the case instead of pouring out the back of the case like the reference coolers did. This seems to be the case with a lot of "DirectCU" coolers, which signifies the direct contact, copper heatpipe cooling solution. Another cause of this is the low amperage fans, which don't move a large amount of air when compared to the huge noise-cannons of the blowers in the reference cards.