Picked up a used 6970 yesterday and after some furmark testing it seemed to run hot, around 90C. The fan was at about 40%. Later my friend realized that they ran hot because we were running the monitor at 120hz. After lowering it 60hz the temps were more acceptable at ~75C.
I'd like to play at 120hz, but 90C is a tad too hot for me. Can you guys recommend a good gpu cooler? He mentioned the Arctic Accelero Xtreme Plus II. Thoughts on that or any others?
Regardless of your monitor setup (dual monitor, refresh rate, etc...), at 100% load, the temps would be the same.
You're pushing the GPU to the max so you should be getting the same temps on successive tests... (unless scenario changes drastically: fan breaks halfway through, or you tested a clean card vs a dust-filled card 6 months later)
I'm guessing he measured temps starting from idle - lowering refresh rate to 60Hz would switch the card back into 2D or low power mode. The 6970's core/mem clocks in 2D mode are 250/150Mhz respectively. There is a middle power mode where the clocks are 500/1375 (this is where 120Hz is run). High performance gaming clocks are 880/1375 by default (depends on particular brand).
If he benched from 250/120 to 880/1375 for a minute, then I can believe the ending temp was lower at 75C, provided he let the idle temp settle down before starting.
However, if he continued benching for a more prolonged period of time, the ending temp would still be 90C.