Power Consumption, Temperature and Noise
The latest iteration of high-end GPUs are pretty power-frugal. Gigabyte's OC comes in just a bit lower than the reference card and some 17W less than the Radeon HD 7970. Compare this with the extra 50W system-wide juice required for last-gen GTX 580.
Temperatures are excellent for both Gigabyte OC cards. 61°C is the lowest we've seen for a proper high-end GPU.
But there's a rather obvious downside. Gigabyte's fan-control system is aggressive on these retail cards. Examining our logs shows that the fans spin at up to 75 per cent of maximum after 10 minutes of gameplay. This translates to almost 4,000rpm, or much, much higher than we'd like. Really, Gigabyte would do well to tune the fans with a less aggressive fan curve, speeding up once the GPU temperature hits, say, 75°C. The as-shipping profile can be altered using utilities, though we feel it's set incorrectly from the get-go.