Temperature & Acoustics / Power Consumption
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 Idle tests, we let the system idle at the Windows 7 desktop for 15 minutes and recorded the peak temperature.
The low temperature numbers posted by EVGA’s ACX cooler shouldn’t come as any surprise but we can’t forget that it has an extremely hot running core to contend with. This makes its results all that much more impressive, especially when you consider that it allows NVIDIA’s Boost algorithms to further enhance frequencies in nearly every application.
What you see below are the baseline idle dB(A) results attained for a relatively quiet open-case system (specs are in the Methodology section) sans GPU along with the attained results for each individual card in idle and load scenarios. The meter we use has been calibrated and is placed at seated ear-level exactly 12” away from the GPU’s fan. For the load scenarios, a loop of Unigine Valley is used in order to generate a constant load on the GPU(s) over the course of 15 minutes.
We’ve seen some extremely loud cards as of late; from the R9 290X to the R9 290, AMD seems to be sacrificing acoustics in order to satisfy those looking for enhanced performance. NVIDIA and their board partners on the other hand have found a near-perfect equation which allows them to offer optimal frequencies without embarrassingly high fan speeds. The ACX cooler continues this tradition in excellent form with impressively low results.
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 used 15 minutes of Unigine Valley running on a loop while letting the card sit at a stable Windows desktop for 15 minutes to determine the peak idle power consumption.
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.
While the higher clock speeds do tend to push the Superclocked’s power consumption up into a higher range, it is still more power efficient than an R9 290X. That’s an impressive feat considering how much more performance this card packs into its frame.
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