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Measuring Temperatures And Cooling

PowerColor's SCS3 HD6850: Radeon HD 6850 Goes Fanless
By , Greg Ryder

Temperatures and a Thermal Shutdown

We already mentioned that the PowerColor card hits its thermal limit when mounted on an open test rig in an air-conditioned, 22°C (72°F) room, once it is stressed with OCCT or a Perlin noise loop. Running Metro 2033 in a loop still yields a hefty 86°C (187°F) card temperature connected to a single monitor. Thus, it is our opinion that this card should not be operated in a silent PC enclosure without active cooling. The observed thermal shutdown in multi-monitor mode served as an ominous warning, as did another thermal shutdown that happened at a room temperature of 28°C (82°F) in a single-monitor setup, running Metro 2033 in a loop. These situations demonstrate the limits of pure passive cooling on a mid-range card.

Quiet Auxiliary Fan and Tests Inside Enclosures

We mounted an ultra-quiet Scythe Slip Stream fan, which rotates at a mere 800 RPM, on top of the graphics card. Then, we repeated our temperature measurements, represented by the blue bars in the charts above.

In addition, we wanted to know how air flow in a closed case affects the card. The results are on the next page.

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