Report: graphics cards and thermal characteristics
by Damien Triolet
Published on April 20, 2010
GeForce GTX 295
The GeForce GTX 295 uses the same concept and design as the GeForce 9800 GX2 in as much as the GPUs are both type GT200 and consume therefore more energy. Like on the GTX 285, NVIDIA has abandoned the casing on the back. The card has a larger grill for the extraction of air from the casing than on the GeForce 9800 GX2 but its design is nevertheless set up so that most of the air is extracted from the top of the card.
System in idle.
System in load.
Graphics card in idle.
Graphics card in load.
Important detail: the wings on the heatsink, visible from above the card, emit very little heat and this is why they seem cold. Of course this isn’t the case in reality.
The GeForce GTX 295 is probably the best conceived bi-GPU card in terms of heat management. In spite of the fact that it has 2 55 nm GT200s, it does not heat up much in idle. In load it gets much hotter of course, but levels stay relatively reasonable in view of its spec and in comparison with other similar solutions. NVIDIA has done good work here then.
Small but interesting detail: the small hot point on the GeForce GTX 295 comes in reality from the PCI Express nForce 200 switch that is placed there and is known to give off a lot of heat.
Temperature and sound level readings
Very good in idle. Of course, there is no miracle solution and noise pollution is high in load. You’ll note that when the GPU is in load and is very hot, the air that comes out of the back grill on the card and the flow is weak. Most of the air is therefore circulatd within the PC by the opening designed for this in the top of the card. Our test casing, as with most casings, also has a grill above the extension ports that allows hot air to get out or cool air to get in.