We chose three different loads to use for measuring thermal performance: idle, gaming, and full, with the latter testing using open and closed cases.
As you might guess, the more aggressively a fan spins up in response to load, the more noise it makes. We'll be able to make a comparison on the next page, where we present the acoustic benchmarks.
HIS' HD 7950 IceQ Turbo and Asus' HD 7950 DirectCU II boast two of the most extreme cooling solutions in this round-up. That's made evident in our results, since both companies finish in first and second place with regard to thermal performance. HIS' cooling solution shines under load and in a closed case, which is a testament to the effectiveness of its DHE design. And remember, it manages to excel while monopolizing only two expansion slots, while Asus requires three.
The PowerColor HD 7950 PCS and the reference design finish in the back of the group. We're expecting PowerColor's card to consequently be one of the quietest. On to the acoustic tests!