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.
A result of around 60 degrees when gaming is fantastic, although in a confined HTPC with lesser airflow you can add about 5c to this figure. Under Furmark load this rises to around 68 degrees, which would translate to mid 70s within a small media chassis with limited airflow.
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.
As this card is passively cooled, the performance is going to rely on case cooling and airflow performance. With our side fan on exhaust, it took 30 seconds for the card to return to ambient, taking a longer time in the region below 50c to expel heat through the air. A side mounted fan, with a forced intake flow would probably help, but this is very much going to depend on your specific chassis design.