Temps, power-draw, noise, real-world assessment
The GeForce 400-series GPUs have a number of clock zones that come into play depending upon load. At absolute idle the GPU temperature is 22°C above ambient.
Give the GPUs a proper pasting by running FurMark and the GTX 465 keeps a family tradition of 90°C-plus temps. NVIDIA's design threshold is 105°C, though.
Idling in Windows 7, the GeForce GTX 465's figure is competitive against all other single-GPU cards.
The loaded power-draw figure is obtained by running FurMark for 10 minutes and noting the peak figure via an at-wall meter. The numbers represent system-wide power draw.
Higher than either the Radeon HD 5870 and HD 5850, the 348W figure is actually a little better than we expected. The card's fan spins up to a noisy 3,050rpm in a bid to keep the GPU from hitting 95°C.
A real-world assessment
Examining the whole noise/heat/power issue in more detail and taking a real-world game into account, we played through Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and noted where system-wide power-draw was highest. The game works the CPU's cores and gives the GPU(s) a good going over. We then left the card rendering the high power-draw scene for 10 minutes and logged the maximum temperature, fan-speed, and power-draw.
The observations were noted with the card(s) installed inside a Corsair Obsidian 700D chassis with side panels on. The 'upper' (hotter) card's temperature and fan-speed are noted if we're evaluating a multi-GPU setup. The table, below, highlights our findings and provides a subjective analysis of the fan noise.
(higher is better)
|GeForce GTX 480 1.5GB||419W||94°C||2,720rpm/3,785rpm||4/2|
|GeForce GTX 470 1.2GB||354W||94°C||2,350rpm/3,290rpm||5/3|
|GeForce GTX 465 1GB||319W||90°C||2,220rpm/2,750rpm||6/4|
|Radeon HD 5970 2GB||386W||77°C||2,460rpm||5|
|Radeon HD 5970 MATRIX||325W||74°C||1,888rpm||7|
|Radeon HD 5870 1GB||288W||76°C||2,350rpm||6|
|Radeon HD 5850 1GB||260W||68°C||1,900rpm||7|
Let's explain the table. The noise perception is a subjective rating out of ten for the quietness of the card when under gaming load. Simple rpm doesn't always tell the full story. The second figures for the GeForce GTX 400-series represent the noise if the temperature is capped to 80°C.
As a real-world example, system-wide power-draw is 35W less than on a GeForce GTX 470. The '465's noise level sounds very similar to a Radeon HD 5870's, which we can deem quiet, but manually changing the fan speed to keep an 80°C under-load temperature results in a card's fan that can be comfortably heard over other components in the system.