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.
While the card does indeed run warm when compared to the competition, it doesn't run as warm as the GTX 470. Clearly the massive heatsink is doing something for the core when it comes to keeping temperatures down.
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 good news is that noise levels are also slightly lower when compared to the GTX 470. In saying that, at almost 70 dB the card is very audible.