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

Radeon HD 3450
The first card we looked at was the Radeon HD 3450, chosen to give us a fanless entry level standard reference. It is also a card that is relatively easy to place in the casing.




Infrared thermography

System in idle.


System in load.


Graphics card in idle.


Graphics card in load.

In spite of the fact that the Radeon HD 3450 is a small GPU that isn’t demanding in terms of energy consumption, the fact that the card doesn’t have an active ventilation system means that it gets up to rather a high temperature and creates a very hot spot within the PC. That said, this is very localised and doesn’t really extend beyond the graphics card.


Temperature and noise level readings

Although the internal GPU sensor gives a reading of 99°C, the thermal imagery shows us that the card’s power supply is in fact hotter than this at 110 °C. As the card is fanless, it does not contribute any additional noise when the system is in load.

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