Here is a summary of all reviews of the three GTX 970 video cards with semi-passive operation that I'm aware of so far, for those interested.
My short notes:
- inconsistency between reviews regarding the temperature threshold at which the fans start spinning: 50 / 65 / 67 / 68 degress C, etc; not even the manufacturer marketing materials are clear on this - for instance MSI has a photo where it says "fans don't spin below 50 degrees C" but the photo right next to this piece of text shows two images, one with no fans spinning below 60 degrees, and one with fans spinning above 60 degress... so what exactly does that mean ?!
- despite the fact that many reviews do noise measurements, the results are pretty meaningless: no idea what the noise floor level is, no idea what the fan profile is, no two reviews agree on the measured values, absolutely no care at mentioning if coil whine is present (while this is a problem for video cards, just like it is for PSUs, as a simple google search can prove)
- kitguru claims that the Palit card is more silent than the Strix and TwinFrozr, while techpowerup claims the opposite, the Palit is noisier than the two other cards; what to believe here...
- considering that semi-passive operation is a surprising new feature of this new generation of video cards, one would think that testing this with different games and reporting which games can run passively and which not would be more important than doing fps benchmarking on the same games over and over, in every review, just to show the same 2-5 fps difference in performance between brand A and brand B vs the reference Nvidia GTX 970 card; but somehow, this is not obvious to the reviewers
- the power consumption, when under full load (which apparently happens in a GPGPU scenario) is the same as on 780 cards; the innovation of this new generation is a much more aggressive new power management algorithm, and not magic pixie dust; quoting the review on tomshardware
- how Maxwell behaves in the space of just 1 ms. Its power consumption jumps up and down repeatedly within this time frame, hitting a minimum of 100 W and a maximum of 290 W. Even though the average power consumption is only 176 W, the GPU draws almost 300 W when it's necessary. Above that, the GPU slows down.
- for a GTX 970, max is 250 W, with only short spikes at 300W
- If the load is held constant, then the lower power consumption measurements vanish immediately. There’s nothing for GPU Boost to adjust, since the highest possible voltage is needed continuously. Nvidia's stated TDP becomes a distant dream. In fact, if you compare the GeForce GTX 980’s power consumption to an overclocked GeForce GTX Titan Black, there really aren’t any differences between them. This is further evidence supporting our assertion that the new graphics card’s increased efficiency is largely attributable to better load adjustment and matching. 280 W average for the 980, 240 W average for the 970. 350 W constant peaks on the 980, 290 W constant peaks on the 970.
- tom: card idle: 15W / gaming 185 W / GPGPU 285 W
ASUS GeForce GTX 970 STRIX OC 4GB DDR5 256-bit STRIX-GTX970-DC2OC-4GD5
- 140 x 280 x 40 mm
- does not start fan up to 67C
- core 1114 vs 1051MHz, memory 1750 vs 1750 MHz
- 2 slots , backplate, 1 x 8 pin PCIe power connector
- tpu card idle: 9W / multi-mon 11W / BR 12W / avg 161W / max 173W (Furmark) / peak 179W (Metro: LL)
- kit card idle: 8 W / gaming 137 W (TR 4K) / 165 W (Furmark)
- och sys idle: 63 W / 252 W (Furmark)
- g3d card avg: 166W
- g3d: idle 35dbA (room noise floor ?), load 39 dbA
- tpu: load 29dbA
- kit: idle 28 dbA / gaming 31 dbA / Furmark 33 dbA
- cbase: idle 27 dbA / gaming 42 dbA (Anno 2042)http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASUS ... _STRIX_OC/http://www.kitguru.net/components/graph ... oc-review/
- Strix cooler fans don’t spin until around 50-53C – peaking at 60C when gaming. When loaded with the synthetic stress test Furmark, the temperatures rise to 68C.http://www.ocaholic.ch/modules/smartsec ... temid=1443
- fans on the new STRIX series are designed to spin only when GPU temperature reaches 65 degreeshttp://www.computerbase.de/2014-09/gefo ... li-nvidia/http://www.hitechlegion.com/reviews/gra ... 4gb-reviewhttp://uk.hardware.info/reviews/5624/nv ... l-ultra-hdhttp://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/ha ... eview.htmlhttp://www.guru3d.com/articles-pages/as ... iew,1.html
- the fan stops completely when the GPU temperature remains below a set level, that is 67 Degrees C
- card's temperature under heavy game stress stabilized at roughly 69 Degrees C range. We note down the hottest GPU reading, not the average.http://hexus.net/tech/reviews/graphics/ ... 970-strix/http://techgage.com/article/asus-geforc ... rd-review/
MSI GeForce GTX 970 Gaming OC TwinFrozr V GTX 970 GAMING 4G
- 269 x 141 x 35 mm
- does not start fan up to 50C
- 2 slots, backplate, 1 x6 + 1 x 8 PCIe power connector; only HDMI 1.4a in MSI website specs instead of 2.0 !
- g3d card avg: 168W
- kit card idle: 8 W / gaming 138 W (TR 4K) / 167 W (Furmark)
- g3d: idle 36dbA (room noise floor ?), load 39 dbA
- kit: idle 28 dbA / gaming 32 dbA / Furmark 33 dbA
- hwlx: load 39.6 dbAhttp://www.msi.com/product/vga/GTX_970_GAMING_4G.htmlhttp://www.kitguru.net/components/graph ... 4g-review/
- MSI cooler maintains temperatures around 60c-61c when gaming – this drops to around 30c when idle. The fans on this card don’t spin until around 50c – ensuring silent operating conditions (such as when watching a movie or general internet browsing).http://www.hardwareluxx.de/index.php/ar ... -test.html
- fans do not spin till 60Chttp://www.hitechlegion.com/reviews/gra ... -gaming-4ghttp://uk.hardware.info/reviews/5624/nv ... l-ultra-hdhttp://www.cowcotland.com/articles/1724 ... ozr-v.htmlhttp://www.guru3d.com/articles-pages/ms ... iew,1.html
- card's temperature under heavy game stress stabilized at roughly 68 Degrees C range. We note down the hottest GPU reading, not the average.http://www.techstation.it/articoli/msi- ... l-622.htmlhttp://www.modders-inc.com/msi-gtx-970- ... pu-review/http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/nvi ... ,3941.htmlhttp://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/6700/m ... index.htmlhttp://www.tweak.dk/review/MSI-Twin-Fro ... G/2083/1/1
- has the above MSI marketing image with the confusing statements on the temperature thresholds
Palit GTX 970 Jetstream
- 250 × 125
- 2.5 - 3 slots
- semi fanless operation below 60C
- 3×mDP, 1×miniHDMI (HDMI type C)
- tpu card idle: 10W / multi-mon 11W / BR 13W / avg 182W / max 207W (Furmark) / peak 197W (Metro: LL)
- g3d card avg: 184W
- g3d: idle 35dbA (room noise floor level ?), load 39 dbA
- tpu: load 33dbAhttp://www.kitguru.net/components/graph ... oc-review/
- fans start later than on the Strix and MSI card, and is more silenthttp://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Pali ... JetStream/
- features two fans which stop in idle and only spin up once the card exceeds 67°C
- card is noisier than the Strix or TwinFrozrhttp://www.guru3d.com/articles-pages/pa ... iew,1.html
- fans only spin up while working on heavier loads such as gaming when the GPU temperature surpasses 60°C
- card's temperature under heavy game stress stabilized at roughly 76~77 Degrees C range. We note down the hottest GPU reading, not the average.
- noticed some coil noise coming from my sample, depending on the game and frame rate
ASUS GeForce GTX 980 STRIXhttp://www.ocaholic.ch/modules/smartsec ... temid=1442