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Report: graphics cards and thermal characteristics
by Damien Triolet
Published on April 20, 2010

Radeon HD 5970
The Radeon HD 5970 is an extreme, bi-GPU model of the Radeon HD 5870 with however lower clocks so as to remain within an acceptable thermal envelope. The card is nevertheless a monster both in terms of performance and size. We had to take a dremel to cut the hard drive bay to fit the Radeon HD 5970 into our test casing. In contrast to the Radeon HD 5800s, the Radeon HD 5970 has a hot air extraction grill that takes up an entire slot.




Infrared thermography

System at idle.


System in load.


Graphics card at idle.


Graphics card in load.

At idle, the card is hotter than the Radeon HD 5800s but remains within reasonable limits thanks to the disactivation of one of the GPUs. Naturally in load it heats up.


Temperature and noise readings

While at idle the readings confirm that there are no temperarture issues, in load temperatures are relatively well managed and lower than a Radeon HD 5800 CrossFire system. This is due to the fact that most of the hot air is extracted from the casing, which does however have a fallout in terms of the high noise levels of the card.

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