During our testing we continually checked the heat output from the card. Our measurements were taken using a laser thermal probe placed within 1/2 inch over the back of the card and centered over the GPU chip. The 5830 at idle measured 39.4 Celsius while during gaming rose to a maximum of 66.1 Celsius. While more than a bit warm for our liking this is significantly cooler than our reference high end card a 5970 which produces a staggering amount of heat during the same testing and will reach temperatures of 71 to 75 Celsius.
Heat output is very important to consider as is the manufacturers cooling solution. The importance of this can be very easily seen when looking at the history of cards from Nvidia. As recently as a year ago Nvidia was hit with a class action lawsuit regarding the untimely death of an entire range of cards powered with their chips due to heat output among other factors. The reference design of a video card includes its heatsink and is one of the important ways in which a manufacturer like Sapphire can differentiate themselves in the market. In this regard Sapphire has done an excellent job producing a heatsink which is efficient, functional, and also lightweight. The heatsink included with the 5830 Xtreme has a center placed fan with triple heatpipes and a copper base for direct contact and heat distribution from the GPU.
We’d like to give Sapphire a major thumbs up for delivering an innovative design, good performance, and at an excellent price. If you are looking for a speed bump in performance which brings you to DX11 capability in your games without breaking the bank, the Sapphire 5830 Xtreme is an awesome solution to consider.