Sparkle GeForce GTS 250 1GB Graphics Card

Graphics Cards
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TEST RESULTS

BASELINE, with Integrated Graphics: To establish a baseline, we measured the power consumption of our test system using integrated graphics, at both idle and while stressed with CPUburn

VGA Test Bed: Baseline Results
(no discrete graphics card installed)
System
State
CPU
Temp
System Power
AC
DC (Est.)
Idle
22°C
73W
Unknown
CPUBurn
39°C
144W
115W
Ambient temperature: 21°C
Ambient noise level: 11 dBA
System noise level: 12 dBA

Sparkle GeForce GTS 250 1GB:

VGA Test Bed: Sparkle GeForce GTS 250 1GB
System
State
VGA Fan Speed
SPL
@1m
GPU
Temp
CPU
Temp
System Power
AC
DC (Est.)
Idle
35%
14 dBA
40°C
23°C
97W
74W
CPUBurn
40°C
41°C
170W
137W
CPUBurn + ATITool
63%
24 dBA
73°C
49°C
246W
202W
CPUBurn + FurMark
86%
27 dBA
84°C
52°C
292W
239W
Ambient temperature: 21°C.

The Sparkle GeForce GTS 250 acoustics were more or less like a typical midrange graphics card. Idle, it was fairly quiet, increasing the measured SPL of our test system by only 2 dB, though it did hum and click somewhat. Luckily, much of this was masked once behind the case's side panel. Upon stress, the fan sped up almost immediately, becoming increasingly buzzy and whiny. The system noise level topped out an annoying 27 dBA with CPUBurn and FurMark running.

The heatsink kept the GPU very cool, reaching a maximum of just 73°C when stressed with ATITool. We would have preferred the fan not spin quite so fast, as temperatures in the low 80's are perfectly acceptable in our book. When stressed with FurMark, the GPU temperature maxed out at 84°C and the system power consumption neared 300W AC.

Fan Control

Our sample did not ship with any utility for monitoring or fan control. For those who wish to control the fan's speed directly, it is possible to do so with RivaTuner.


RivaTuner: Fan control tab.

While the fan's speed can be manipulated in a linear progression between 35% and 100% with RivaTuner, actually there are only three or four 'stages' of fan speed. For example, the 35% and 40% setting sound identical — the fan speed does not actually change until it is set past a threshold. By contrast, the card's automatic fan control has a smoother, more extensive range.



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