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.
Well well, what do we have here; just before we were going to write the 3870 off from GIGABYTE, we get some astounding temperature numbers. We can see a big drop on the temperature behind the core, and this alone is going to be worth the premium for the card.
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).
The big temperature drop also doesn't carry with it a big boost in noise. We can see that it's pretty much in line with the standard cooler.