Temperature And Noise
Idle Temperature And Noise
Two years ago, when Nvidia led off with its Fermi-based GeForce GTX 480, the company was chided for egregious power consumption and correspondingly bad thermal output. Subsequently, it seemed to put more effort into augmenting its cooling solutions. The GeForce GTX 580 seemed to be the culmination of those improvements, enabling a single-GPU flagship that didn’t need to make its presence known.
A handful of engineering emphases, plus the benefits of 28 nm manufacturing, pay off here. The GeForce GTX 680 is quieter than any other high-end card at idle. And it doesn’t seem to require much airflow to stay cool; only the GeForce GTX 590 manages to hit a lower temperature after 10 minutes on the Windows desktop.
Load Temperature And Noise
More telling than idle performance, however, is a graphics card’s behavior under load. This is where the GeForce GTX 680 really impresses, achieving the lowest acoustic measurement in the bunch.
And although it remains quiet, the card’s cooler doesn’t allow temperatures to get out of control. AMD’s Radeon HD 7970 and 7950 both turn in lower thermal readings. However, the GTX 680 does outperform Nvidia’s other two tested cards.