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

Radeon HD 4850
The Radeon HD 4850 is the card that really got us interested in getting this data on the temperatures of graphics cards. It is known for getting very hot, even in idle.




Infrared thermography

System in idle.


System in load.


Graphics card in idle.


Graphics card in load.

Infrared thermography immediately confirms that the card gets very hot, even in idle. The zone close to the GPU gets up to 80 °C which is very high for a card that has an active cooling system.


Temperature and noise level readings

The internal GPU sensor confirms our observations and gives a reading of 81 °C for the GPU in idle. This really is very high but the fan is calibrated only to accelerate as of 80 °C. As a result the card is fairly quiet. In load the temperature gets above 90 °C, which is pretty much the average for top end GPUs.

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Radeon HD 4870  




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