Power / Temps / Noise / Overclocking
As the 6900 series, GTX 500 series and no doubt future generations perform power management in a different way to older cards we have changed the way we test power and temperature levels in our reviews. For idle power we list the full system use at the wall after sitting at the desktop with no activity for 5 minutes. Load power is the highest reading we saw for the full system when testing during this review. Temperatures are taken in the same way. Noise levels are taken after a period of prolonged gaming in a scenario which applied maximum load to the GPU.
When it comes to power and thermal performance of the two cards being tested today there is a clear advantage for the Inno3D model. Its thermal performance is actually some of the best we have seen from a midrange card to date, though this shouldn’t be too surprising given the size of cooler used. The PowerColor PCS++ still gives us good temperatures though and does so whilst being near silent, just like the 560.
Here is a short video taken 1ft away from the card with the case side off, at full load for each card.
Overclocking both of these cards is an easy process; we simply install a utility such as Afterburner and begin increasing the clocks. On our review samples the overclocks achieved were good for factory overclocked boards increasing the 3DMark scores nearer to the 5000 range.
Here are the scores for 3DMark 11’s performance mode with the various speeds enabled.