Cooling Noise and Power
For my last few tests, rather than focusing on in game performance, I like to check out other aspects of video card performance. These are also the most important ways to differentiate the performance between cards that have the same GPU. To start things off I took a look at power usage.
For this, our new test setup utilizes the Nvidia-designed PCat v2 along with cables to handle both traditional 6 or 8-pin connections as well as the new 12VHPWR. The PCat also utilizes a PCIe adapter to measure any power going to the card through the PCIe slot so we can measure the video card wattage exclusively, not the entire system as we have done in the past. I test with a mix of applications to get both in game, synthetic benchmarks, and other workloads like Blender and AIDA64. Then everything is averaged together for our result. I also have the individual results for this specific card and I document the peak wattage result as well which is almost always Time Spy Extreme. The RTX 4060 Ti Founders Edition averaged 166 watts across all of the tests which put it down near the bottom of our chart. This is 57 watts less than the 3060 Ti averaged, 77 watts less than the 3070’s average, and a crazy 132 watts lower than the RX 6750 XT. Its peak wattage was 201 watts which is 53 less than the 3060 Ti, 71 less than the 3070, and 153 less than the RX 6750 XT. Like all of the Ada cards, the RTX 4060 Ti Founders Edition is great for its power usage.
With having exact peak wattage numbers when running Time Spy Extreme I was also able to put together a graph showing the total score for each watt that a card draws which gives us an interesting look at overall power efficiency in the popular and demanding benchmark. Once its Time Spy Extreme performance was figured in the impressive power numbers put the RTX 4060 Ti Founders Edition at 31.55 points per watt which was lower than the other 4000 Series cards as well as the AMD 7900 XT and XTX but still a big improvement over anything from last generation as you can see.
My next round of tests were looking at noise levels. These are especially important to me because I can’t stand to listen to my PC whirling. Especially when I’m not in game and other applications are using the GPU. For my testing, though I first tested with the fan cranked up to 100% to get an idea of how loud it can get, then again at 50% to get an idea of its range. The RTX 4060 Ti Founders Edition is in the bottom portion of the charts for both 100% and 50% fan speeds with the 100% at 57.5 decibels and 39 decibels at half speed. The 100% result was right with the RTX 4070 but at half speed, it was a little quieter and farther down the chart. It’s impressive how quiet it was considering the 4055 fan RPM when it was cranked up, swinging from the top of the RPM chart to the bottom of the noise chart is impressive.
I also take a look at noise performance while under load. For that when running AIDA64’s stress test I wait until the temperature of the card has leveled off and then measure how loud things are when the card is at its worst-case scenario with the stock fan profile. Here the RTX 4060 Ti Founders Edition was again down in the bottom few cards in our chart at 35.3 decibels. Given how quietly it ran even at 50% and 100% fan speeds that isn’t too big of a surprise, but while under load it was only running at 34% of the fan speed which helps even more.
To finish up my testing I of course had to check out the cooling performance. To do this I ran two different tests. I used AIDA64’s Stress Test run for a half-hour each to warm things up. Then I documented what temperature the GPU leveled out at with the stock fan profile and then again with the fans cranked up to 100%. With the stock profile, the RTX 4060 Ti Founders Edition leveled off at 63c which has it running right in the mix with some of the aftermarket RTX 4070 and 4070 Ti cards. This is just 1 degree lower than the RTX 4070 Founders Edition. As for the GPU hotspot, that was at 77c during this which was 4c less than the 4070 FE. Then with the fans cranked up, the RTX 4060 Ti Founders Edition ran at 53c which gave a delta of 10c between the stock fan profile and 100% fan speed tests. The GPU hotspot improved a little more than that delta as well with it at 66c with the fans cranked up.
While running the stock fan profile testing I also took the time to get a few thermal images so we could see what is going on. The front side of the RTX 4060 Ti Founders Edition has the blow-through heatsink area as the hottest portion of this side of the card but it is running cool enough that the hotspot in the image is the motherboard itself. Up on the top has its hottest area being the edge of the PCB right near the power plug, which is always the hottest spot on the Founders Edition cards, the heatsink around there is a little warmer but the metal shroud on both sides of that are staying nice and cool. The back of the card is similar really, the backplate has some heat in it but at 40c at the hottest none of the temperatures are a concern at all and we can see the pull-through fan is doing its job with some heat around there.