With the TES 1326 Infrared Thermometer literally in hand we found ourselves getting real-world temperatures from the products we test at load (3D clock speeds).
There are two places we pull temperature from - the back of the card directly behind the core and if the card is dual slot and has an exhaust point we also pull a temperate from there, as seen in the picture.
The Arctic Cooling on the AXLE card is doing wonders for the temperature, keeping it way down. The TwinTech, GIGABYTE and Galaxy are all fairly close to each other while the Palit does manage to run a good chunk warmer than the other cards. Mind you, 54c isn't anything we would be worried about anyway.
Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.
After five minutes of that we get a bit more serious and place the device two CM away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode) and in load (3D mode).
Those cool numbers from AXLE come at the cost of some serious noise. The Arctic Cooling heatsink/fan screams along. Both the TwinTech and Galaxy cards sit quite close together while the Palit noise levels are a fair bit lower than both of them.
The quietest card comes from GIGABYTE which managed to still put out some reasonable temperatures.