The tests were performed in a controlled air conditioned room with temperatures maintained at a constant 25c – a comfortable environment for the majority of people reading this.
Idle temperatures were measured after sitting at the desktop for 30 minutes. Load measurements were acquired by playing Crysis Warhead for 30 minutes and measuring the peak temperature. We also have included Furmark results, recording maximum temperatures throughout a 30 minute stress test. All fan settings were left on automatic.
The HD6870 is a reference design (with the standard AMD cooler) and as such we don’t expect wonderful results. The final figures are still fairly decent, although the load temperature under Furmark is a little on the high side.
Return to ambient is a feature we have recently added to our reviews … we measure the time it takes for a solution to return to idle temperatures, immediately after full load. The faster the time, the better the cooler – for example a Noctua NH D14 cooler will return an Intel processor to idle temperatures much faster than a reference cooler. This is a good indication of how quickly a heatsink can dissipate heat.
The HIS HD6870 reference cooler takes around 25 seconds to return the core to idle temperatures, which is a little longer than the other HD6870′s in our labs. We did notice however that noise levels were slightly lower, however more on this shortly.