Report: graphics cards and thermal characteristics
by Damien Triolet
Published on April 20, 2010
Radeon HD 6970 CrossFire
Like any multi-card system, the Radeon HD 6970 CrossFire means more heat in the casing and it obviously takes up quite a bit of space, especially as these cards are very long. Note that AMD can completely shut down the second GPU at idle.
System at idle.
System in load.
Graphics card at idle.
Graphics card in load.
While the system is very well cooled at idle thanks to the low energy consumption of the Radeon HD 6970 in this mode, in load it really heats up!
Temperature and noise readings
This CrossFire system produces a lot of heat and while much of it is expelled from the casing, some is spread around inside, which increases the temperature of the internal components. While noise levels are nicely controlled at idle, in load this system gets very loud. Note that the fan speed varies constantly during heavy processing, which can be annoying.
You’ll also note that the northbridge gets very hot, a natural result of the high performance of the system, the available space and the fact that it has to supply additional PCI Express lanes. Active cooling for the northbridge is therefore very much advised on this type of platform.