Temperatures And Acoustics
Our thermal measurements come from a long loop of the Metro: Last Light benchmark. By the end of the chart, you should be looking at the highest temperatures you'd see in a real gaming environment. Of course, depending on the title, you could certainly be looking at lower readings.
Two of our labs ran tests in closed mid-tower cases, finding the various GeForce GTX 750 Ti cards to vary by one to two degrees. Even though these cards dissipate heat internally, rather than through their rear I/O slots, the fact that they use so little power means heat is hardly an issue.
|GeForce GTX 750 Ti Reference||28 °C||65 °C|
|Gigabyte GTX 750 Windforce OC||25 °C||45 °C|
|MSI GTX 750 Ti Gaming OC||26 °C||54 °C|
|Zotac GTX 750 Ti OC||27 °C||63 °C|
The following chart demonstrates that each card's temperature curve is affected by the heat sink, fans, and BIOS-based fan profile.
Gigabyte cools its card very aggressively, and could have pulled back on fan speed to bring noise down even more (even though the card is hardly audible as it sits).
We record noise measurements for each card using a studio microphone calibrated for our PC audio tests. The mic is oriented perpendicularly to the graphics card's center, 50 cm away.
|GeForce GTX 750 Ti Reference||31.5 dB(A)||34.1 dB(A)|
|Gigabyte GTX 750 Windforce OC||31.9 dB(A)||33.2 dB(A)|
|MSI GTX 750 Ti Gaming OC||30.0 dB(A)||31.9 dB(A)|
|Zotac GTX 750 Ti OC||31.1 dB(A)||33.0 dB(A)|
It really worked out well that we received so many GeForce GTX 750 Ti cards for our launch coverage, since we're able to take measurements from products with big, beefy coolers and others (like the reference board) with tiny orb-style heat sinks.
Nvidia's own design proves that it doesn't take much to keep GM107 cool. A small sink and fan are all you need, really. And in a closed chassis, you aren't going to hear any of these four samples.
With that in mind, MSI's GTX 750 Ti Gaming OC appears to offer the best compromise between quiet operation and high performance. It's just too bad that the MSI and Gigabyte boards employ such big, bulky coolers. The whole point of Maxwell is efficiency; we'd like to see vendors start introducing thermal solutions to match.