Cooling, Noise, and Power
For my last batch of testing, I like to focus on all of the aspects that aren’t really just due to the clock speed set and the GPU of the card. Having tested a few different RX 470’s its really nice to be able to test the MSI to see how it compares to XFX and Sapphires cards in things like cooling performance, power usage, and noise. My first test is power usage and this is the one I was the most curious about. When I tested the Sapphire RX 470 I was completely blown away at how much power it pulled, the power draw of the card does, however, play a big role in how it is consistently quick in a lot of the benchmarks even with a similar clock speed to the XFX. I put the card under load using Valley Benchmark and then using a Kill A Watt I document the highest wattage pulled from our entire test bench. In this case, it was 238 watts, significantly less than the Sapphire and even 11 watts less than the XFX 470 as well making this the lowest power usage 470 I have tested. This put it a lot closer to the GTX 1060’s.
Next, I test overall fan noise. Please keep in mind that our results aren’t comparable to any other website, our office has a high overall noise level so we test with the meter closer to the card than you would ever have your ear, especially if the card is in a case. So these aren’t numbers to show what you will hear, but they do help show the overall noise difference between cards. The MSI RX 470 Gaming X 8GB with its two HUGE fans doesn’t have to run the fans as fast as everyone else, so both my 50% and 100% fan speed results show the card being nearly the quietest tested. This is one of the big perks to the large card size.
Last but not least I take a look at the cooling performance of each card. This can vary due to manufacturer fan profiles, so I test once with the stock settings to see what you can expect out of the box. Then I test again with the fans turned all the way up to 100% fan speed to see what the cooler is capable of. Given the huge cooler and fans, it’s no surprised that right out of the box the MSI is the coolest running card tested at 59 degrees. When I turned the fans up it was even crazier with a peak temperature of 42 degrees.