Noise, Temperature, Overclockability
We measured the level of noise produced by the card with a digital sound-level meter Velleman DVM1326 using A-curve weighing to see if Gainward made any adjustments to the fan speed management systems. The level of ambient noise in our lab was 36dBA and the level of noise at a distance of 1 meter from the working testbed with a passively cooled graphics card inside was 43dBA.
The card is perfectly silent. According to RivaTuner, the fan speed is fixed at 29% and doesn’t change. You are unlikely to hear the card unless you’ve got a totally silent PC with no fans at all. 43.1dBA at a distance of 1 meter is an excellent result proving Gainward’s claim that the Bliss 8800 GT Golden Sample series is special.
The GPU temperature is 54-55°C when idle and no higher than 60°C under load despite the increased frequencies. This is much better even in comparison with the second, improved, version of the reference cooler from Nvidia which allows the G92 chip, clocked at the standard frequencies of 600/1500MHz, get as hot as 88°C under load. The first version of the reference cooler was even worse: the GPU temperature would be as high as 90°C which made the card unstable and even damaged it sometimes.
An attempt to overclock our Bliss 8800 GT 1024MB GS was quite successful. The graphics core was stable at 750MHz. The highest frequency for the shader processors was 1750MHz. The memory chips were overclocked above their rated frequency to 1100 (2200) MHz. Our Bliss 8800 GT 1024MB GS worked well at such clock rates. The GPU temperature grew a little but never exceeded 70°C thanks to the high-performance cooler.
We also found the Gainward Bliss 8800 GT 1024MB GS perfectly compatible with all PCI Express 1.0a mainboards we had at our disposal.