To measure temperatures we are using an air conditioned room environment of 24c. We also prefer to use real world testing, inside a chassis. For this review we have used the excellent Silverstone Raven 02 which is a very capable chassis for maintaining good airflow – directly from bottom to top. Idle temperatures are recorded after 30 minutes idle in Windows 7 and load results are achieved after playing Crysis for 30 minutes and recording the maximum sustained temperatures throughout.
The results show that the GTX 480 is a fairly hot running card hovering just under 50c at idle and peaking just over 90c at load. We could safely add another 3-5c to the load results inside a less proficient chassis. Strangely enough I noticed a slight pause in fan speed incremental increases as if the board was ‘reacting’ to temperatures with a delay, rather than immediately.
Effectively even though we recorded 91c above during a very intensive area of Crysis, the card actually did peak once at 94c before the cooling system reacted. I find this slightly concerning to be honest. nVidia have stated that even at temperatures approaching 105c the card will last for years. 105c incidentally is the throttle point for GF100, something worth taking into consideration if you ever buy one. Our recommendation? get a lot of chassis fans, or set a large fan right beside the GPU area. You could also opt for one with the longest warranty possible.