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

Radeon HD 6870
The Radeon HD 6870 uses a similar design to the Radeon HD 5850. Note however, although its PCB is the same size, the cooler panel sticks out 5mm from the back of the card, for purely aesthetic reasons.

This cooler is also very similar in size to that used for the Radeon HD 5850. There is a third heatpipe and it has been modified to accommodate the unusual placement of the power stage, the majority of components of which are now between the GPU and the bracket and not at the back of the card as is generally the case with AMD cards.




Infrared thermography

System in idle.


System in load.


Graphics card in idle.


Graphics card in load.

The Radeon HD 6870 is very well cooled and you can see that with the power stage placed between the bracket and the GPU the back of the card hardly heats up at all in load.


Temperature and noise readings

The Radeon HD 6870 poses no particular problems in terms of overheating, whether in idle or load. It also extracts relatively hot air from the box, especially as this is concentrated towards the small air vent. Although it is quiet at idle, it is rather noisy in load.

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