Cooling, Noise, and Power

For my last set of benchmarks take a look at a few of the card details that help show what kind of power supply and case you might need. By testing the power, noise, and cooling we can really see what sets similar cards apart. For the R9 280 Gaming 2G I started off with power testing. I get an idle wattage and then run through Heaven Benchmark 4.0 and note the peak wattage pulled. It is possible you will see higher numbers when testing using something like Furmark but this gives us an idea of real world performance. So just like the R9 285 the R9 30 performed extremely well at idle, pulling one of the lowest idle numbers we have seen. Under load the card did pull a little more than the original R9 285 did but it is right in the middle of the new GTX 970 and GTX 980 that are known for their relatively low power draw. At 390 watts our 6 core test bench with water cooling would run on just about any power supply although I would still leave a nice buffer.

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Next I ran through three noise tests to see just how noisy that Twin Frozr cooler was. Not surprisingly it performed really well. At 100% fan speed it is below the median meaning it runs quieter than more than half of the cards tested. At 50% fan speed we can better see what we would expect for noise while gaming and even there the numbers are great. Then of course when it comes to idle testing the R9 380 Gaming 2G is added to the growing list of cards that have no idle noise at all because the fans turn off.

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The last test is to see how hot the card will get when gaming. We do test on an open test bench so you can expect numbers to get a little higher in a closed case but the MSI did well with a peak temp of 66 degrees. This is spot on for where most of the cards with aftermarket coolers fall but it is good to know it will run cool.

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