Asus Radeon HD 4870 Matrix

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TEST RESULTS

BASELINE, with Integrated Graphics: First, here are the results of our baseline results of the system with just its integrated graphics, without a discrete video card. We'll also need the power consumption reading during CPUBurn to estimate the actual power draw of discrete card later.

VGA Test Bed: Baseline Results
(no discrete graphics card installed)
System
State
System Power
AC
DC (Est.)
Idle
73W
Unknown
CPUBurn
144W
115W
Ambient temperature: 21°C
Ambient noise level: 11 dBA
System noise level: 12 dBA

ATI Radeon HD 4870 1GB:

VGA Test Bed: ATI Radeon HD 4870 1GB
System State
Fan Speed
SPL
@1m
GPU
Temp
Mem. Temp
Shader Temp
System Power
AC
DC (Est.)
Idle
990 RPM
13 dBA
76°C
85°C
82°C
148W
118W
CPUBurn
78°C
86°C
83°C
223W
182W
CPUBurn + ATITool
1750 RPM
20 dBA
83°C
92°C
90°C
288W
236W
CPUBurn + FurMark
1750 RPM
20 dBA
85°C
93°C
91°C
305W
249W
Ambient temperature: 21°C.
Temperatures recorded via GPU-Z.

The ATI reference card cooler was surprisingly quiet when idle, just barely increased the noise above the system's ambient level. Up close, the clicking of the blower fan is audible, but shielded by a little distance, a side panel and some foam, only a gentle hum was barely audible. When placed under load, the fan speed almost doubled and the noise level increased to 20 dBA, sounding like a small hair dryer, albeit smoother than most blower fans and unvarying in pitch/tone. Honestly, it's not too bad, especially for a stock cooler.

The temperatures were a touch high, but nothing to be concerned about, especially at the noise levels measured. The GPU heated up from 76°C idle to 85°C on full load. The memory and shader temperatures increased by a similar amount. We feel it's just the right balance of noise and cooling performance.

Asus Radeon HD 4870 512MB Matrix:

Our test results were rather unusual due to the nature of the card's fan control. Idle, both fans were inactive to begin with, but once it heated up to a certain point (varied depending on what iTracker mode was used), the main fan kicked in at what we assume was its minimum speed: 2800 RPM. It remained operating at this speed for a few minutes until the GPU cooled down sufficiently and then promptly shut it self off. Given the way fan control was implemented, the card was never quiet for more than a few minutes at a time.

VGA Test Bed: Asus Radeon HD 4870 512MB Matrix
System State
Fan 1 Speed
Fan 2 Speed
SPL
@1m
GPU
Temp
Mem. Temp
Power Temp
System Power
AC
DC (Est.)
Idle
0 / 2800 RPM
0 RPM
12 dBA / 20 dBA
54 - 70°C
60 - 67°C
53 - 55°C
123 - 128W
97 - 101W
CPUBurn
55 - 70°C
60 - 67°C
54 - 55°C
198 - 202W
161 - 165W
CPUBurn + ATITool
3300 RPM
3100 RPM
27 dBA
76°C
75°C
77°C
298W
243W
CPUBurn + FurMark
3300 RPM
3160 RPM
27 dBA
78°C
75°C
78°C
314W
255W
Ambient temperature: 21°C.
Temperatures recorded via iTracker.

With the main fan cycling on and off, the GPU temperature had a range of around 15°C. Power consumption readings varied depending on how hot the card was and whether the main fan was on or off. The system noise level was 20 dBA when the fan was active. The fan had poor undertones — up close it sounded rickety like something was obstructing it. Simply loading GPU-Z also caused the fan to inexplicably turn on, so we used the iTracker utility to measure the various GPU temperatures.

The auxiliary fan was very similar — it had the same poor acoustic character and high starting speed. When set to the "Auto" in iTracker, it turned on almost immediately after 3D stress testing with ATITool or FurMark began and ran at its minimum speed, resulting in a significant increase in noise level to 27 dBA. The temperatures, while a fair improvement over ATI's reference card, came at a heavy auditory cost. As we used an overclocked setting, it was unsurprising that the card pulled about 10W AC more than ATI's card when placed under a full load.



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