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MSI N580GTX Lightning Review

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.

Furmark is a purely synthetic test, but it does give an indication of potential cooler limitations. In this case the card maxes out at 63c with fan speeds around 2,500 rpm, translating to 60 percent.

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 dual fan Twin Frozr III cooler is really impressive, ensuring that the return to idle time frame is kept relatively short – 20 seconds in total.

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