Cooling, Noise, and Power
For my last bit of testing I run through a few tests that don’t have any effect on your in game performance but are still just as if not more important. Here we test to see how warm the card runs when in game, how noisy the fan is in a few situations, and how much power our testbench pulled when in game and at idle. My first test is power consumption. Here the GTX 980 Ti pulled just a few watts less than the Titan X. At 473 the results are actually less than the R9 290, R9 290X, and even some of the R9 280X’s. At idle the number is on point with everything else at 210 watts so there aren’t any weird power draws out of game to worry about.
When it came to noise testing I didn’t really have high hopes. The top of our noise charts are littered with reference Nvidia cards because of how noisy they tend to be when running at 100% fan speed. Surprisingly our GTX 980 Ti while still having the exact same design as the others did manage to be quieter than the Titan X and GTX 980. This was especially true at idle where the Ti actually comes out near one of the quietest. The single card design helps, but clearly this sample has a quieter fan than some of the others.
For the last test I run Heaven Benchmark 4.0 and see where the temperature levels off at over time. No surprises here, the GTX 980 Ti pulled the same 83 degrees that it is programmed to run at, just like the other Nvidia reference cards that have the same result on the charts. Cooling fan performance profiles are a big part of temperature performance because it is important to find a balance between keeping the card cool while also still being quiet. In this case it’s clear that Nvidia would rather the GTX 980 Ti run a little warm while still being fairly quiet