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.
Even with the extra voltage running through the card we can see the cooling option is able to keep the GPU running cooler than the stock clocked HD 5870 and its stock cooler.
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 reason it seems to be able to keep the temperature down is because the two fans are working hard and creating a bit of noise. 67dB isn't too bad, though, and inside a case you shouldn't really notice the card much more than any other HD 5870.
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