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 Powercolor HD6870 PCS+ hits around 85c under Furmark load, with the fan speed raising to 39%. This is a moderately quiet fan setting, so the acoustic/noise balance has been set somewhere in the middle.
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 heatpipe design reduces the temperatures quickly from the peak (85c) to around 70c in 5 seconds. After this it takes a little longer, the next 20 degrees take 12 seconds as the automatic fan slowly spins down to reduce noise levels.