AMD FirePro W9100 Review: Hawaii Puts On Its Suit And Tie

Temperature And Sound Level

Temperature Transients

We measure each card's thermal behavior at a constant 22 °C (72 °F) ambient temperature, at normal humidity.

To put the following diagram into perspective, almost every card we benchmark bumps up against its factory-set temperature limit.

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ModelIdle3D Workload
Quadro K500030 °C76 °C
Quadro K600032 °C80-82 °C
FirePro W910040 °C92-93 °C
FirePro W900034°C78 °C

Measuring the Sound Level

We measure each graphics card's noise levels with a calibrated high-quality studio microphone (supercardioid) 50 cm away from a position perpendicular to the middle of the board. This distance, as well as the strong cardioid microphone characteristic, represent a compromise between avoiding noise generated by the fan’s airflow and ambient noise that can never be completely eliminated. Our noise-dampening efforts certainly help minimize the latter, but they'll never be 100-percent successful.

As we've seen many times before, reference-class cards typically achieve their cooling performance at the cost of higher sound levels. High-end workstation cards, in particular, exhaust waste heat from their I/O panels to avoid affecting other platform components. However, this is enabled through the use of a radial fan, and our results show that they're quite noisy.

Here are the detailed sound level readings:

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ModelIdle3D Workload, Open Lab Bench3D Workload, Closed Case
Quadro K500030.8 dB(A)37.7 dB(A)37.1 dB(A)
Quadro K600030.8 dB(A)42.7 dB(A)41.2 dB(A)
FirePro W910033.5 dB(A)51.3 dB(A)49.8 dB(A)
FirePro W900033.2 dB(A)55.4 dB(A)52.7 dB(A)