Temperature, Noise And Power Benchmarks
XFX claims that its Double Dissipation cooler is up to 13dB quieter and seven degrees cooler than the competition. Naturally, we want to test those claims.
After a 10-minute Battlefield 4 torture test using the Ultra quality preset, XFX's temperature claim is undeniably vindicated. It tops out about 11 degrees cooler than Asus' Strix and eight degrees cooler than Sapphire's ITX Compact card. Under this heavy rendering load, XFX's card remains under 60 degrees at all times. Very impressive!
Of course, low temperatures aren't impressive if they're enabled by fast-spinning fans generating tons of noise. How are the XFX card's acoustics?
In order to narrow our focus on graphics card acoustics, we stop all of the system's fans during our measurement. The noise level is sampled two inches from the card's I/O bracket. Our chart starts at 30dB, which is roughly what we consider to be completely silent in a home setting.
The Radeon R9 285 Black Edition sits on the quiet end of the spectrum, especially considering its thermal performance. But it's nowhere near 13dB quieter than the competition in this particular test, although we don't know the lab conditions that XFX uses to generate its results.
It's cool and it's quiet, but how does XFX's Black Edition compare when it comes to power draw? With the highest overclock, does it use considerably more juice than its competitors?
We begin this chart at 80W, which is the approximate power draw of the system at idle minus the graphics card. Despite its overclocking claim to fame, XFX's product only draws a few more watts than Asus' Strix and a few less than Sapphire's ITX Compact. It's a fine result.