Power, Temperature, & Noise

Up next, we wrap up our look at a new video card’s stock performance with a look at the physical performance attributes: power consumption, temperatures, and noise. As we quicked look at in our capsule review, the HD 7870 OE manages to hit a good balance between all 3 of these attributes, leading to it being by far the quietest 7870 without making any compromises on temperature. Now let's further break down that data.

Radeon HD 7870 Voltages
Ref 7870 Load Sapphire HD 7870 OE Load HIS IceQ Turbo 7870 Load PowerColor PCS+ HD7870 Load
1.219v 1.219v 1.219v 1.219v

Note that unlike the 7900 series, we haven't seen any of the semi-custom 7800 series cards ship at a non-reference voltage so far, which means all of these cards generate a similar level of heat and consume a similar level of power.

Idle power is consistent with our other 7870s, as we'd expect. Load power is much the same story, as the milder 50MHz core overclock on the HD 7870 OE brings up power consumption some compared to a reference 7870, but not by quite as much a more heavily overclocked 7870.

The version of the Dual-X cooler on the HD 7870 OE proves itself to be quite capable here. At 28C the idle temperature is among the lowest of any cards we have tested, but load temperatures are also quite good. 66C under Metro means that the Dual-X is 2C cooler than the reference 7870, and even OCCT can only push temps up to 70C. This does end up being louader than HIS's IceQ Turbo, but the IceQ was anything but conventional.

Finally we have our look at noise, which is without a doubt the biggest payoff for the HD 7870 OE. The load noise level during our Metro 2033 benchmark was only 43.8dB; this is not only over 3dB better than any other 7870, but it's also quieter than the otherwise much lower power (and lower performing) reference 7770. When it comes to enthusiast level cards we typically only see NVIDIA reference designs hit noise levels this low, so it's a notable accomplishment.  Though for whatever reason - possibly an agressive fan curve - Sapphire's noise lead diminishes somewhat under OCCT; it's still the quietest 7870, but only by less than 1dB and it's no longer quieter than the 7770.

Portal 2, Battlefield 3, Starcraft II, Skyrim, CivV, & Compute Overclocked Performance
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • Galidou - Tuesday, May 1, 2012 - link

    LOL CeriseCogburn, don't be such a mad fanboy... Answering to a simple inflammaroty sentence with a whole paragraph... Go buy a GTX 680 and throw eggs at AMD's headquarter like you were doing before commenting here :P
  • Origin32 - Sunday, April 29, 2012 - link

    And another typical day at Anand. AMD fanboys accusing writers of being Intel fanboys and Nvidia fanboys accusing them of being AMD fanboys. lol
  • Spunjji - Friday, May 11, 2012 - link

    It's tiring, isn't it.
  • vicbee - Monday, April 30, 2012 - link

    Ya'll should just get a life. Seriously... most arguments revolve around $10-30 price difference and possibly 10 fps for similar card category. Yawn!

    Until last week I have a liquid cooled GTX285 until a transistors fried. I was kind of glad something happened because I wanted a newer card but just couldn't fathom taking my rig apart to uninstall the liquid circuit. And who in their right mind would buy a 2nd hand card with a liquid cooling add-on... problem solved.

    I've only owned higher end Nvidia cards so this time around I thought I'd try an AMD and got the Sapphire discussed in this article. It's a great card (like my Nvidia cards were great cards) and because it's an upgrade I get 20 fps more than with the old card. I did have a software install issue tied to a missing something .dll but on the 3rd download it solved itself. Problem solved now back to gaming...
  • Autisticgramma - Monday, April 30, 2012 - link

    @CeriseCogburn. You doth protest too much.

    Next you'll be telling us that nVidia's Tegra 2 is better than the (new AMD card).

    nVidia Isn't innovating, its reacting to AMD offerings. (in the desktop graphics realm) Granted most of the cards are about 10% better, and about three months later for about the same price.

    When Fermi was released, it was obviously a data center add in card, the price, the heat and performance (for graphics) was outrageous.

    I Tend to agree with the nVidia fan boys that they're (nVidia) holding stuff back, kepler looks good on paper, and the point of availability has been pounded to death.

    If they can crush AMD, why don't they?

    I'd be happy to give them my money, if they weren't the lazy hare in this race.

  • Stempy59 - Monday, May 7, 2012 - link

    Hmn, under clocked 680 still better, yeah the price is higher but they will be more available soon!
  • Spunjji - Friday, May 11, 2012 - link

    Thank-you for that enlightening apples-to-oranges comparison. Meanwhile it was nice to see how AMD's second-tier card stacks up (better than its top-tier card, hilariously).

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now