Core Temperature & Acoustics / Power Consumption
Core Temperature & Acoustics
For all temperature testing, the cards were placed on an open test bench with a single 120mm 1200RPM fan placed ~8” away from the heatsink. The ambient temperature was kept at a constant 22°C (+/- 0.5°C). If the ambient temperatures rose above 23°C at any time throughout the test, all benchmarking was stopped. For this test we use the 3DMark Batch Size test at it highest triangle count with 4xAA and 16xAF enabled and looped it for one hour to determine the peak load temperature as measured by GPU-Z.
For Idle tests, we let the system idle at the Windows 7 desktop for 15 minutes and recorded the peak temperature.
The temperature performance of the 1GB card should come as no surprise to anyone since other than the memory allotments; there isn’t anything different between it and the 2GB version. That being said, the heatsink is highly efficient and temperatures stay well within acceptable levels.
Unfortunately, the HD 6950 is far from the quietest card on the block and is louder than the GTX 560 it competes directly against. It isn’t loud in any way but it does have a slightly larger acoustical footprint than most of NVIDIA’s 500-series.
System Power Consumption
For this test we hooked up our power supply to a UPM power meter that will log the power consumption of the whole system twice every second. In order to stress the GPU as much as possible we once again use the Batch Render test in 3DMark06 and let it run for 30 minutes to determine the peak power consumption while letting the card sit at a stable Windows desktop for 30 minutes to determine the peak idle power consumption. We have also included several other tests as well.
Please note that after extensive testing, we have found that simply plugging in a power meter to a wall outlet or UPS will NOT give you accurate power consumption numbers due to slight changes in the input voltage. Thus we use a Tripp-Lite 1800W line conditioner between the 120V outlet and the power meter.
We were hoping that the elimination of GDDR5 would result in some meaningful power savings but that wasn’t meant to happen. The HD 6950 1GB has quite literally the same power draw as its bigger brother which means it also consumes a good amount more than the GTX 560 as well.
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