ATI's dual-GPU monsters are exceptionally hot cards and this was demonstrated by the reference Radeon HD 4870 X2, which tipped the scales at a whopping 88 degrees Celsius. And fortunately for the Palit Revolution 700 Deluxe, while it wasn't a top performer, its triple-slot cooling solution did not let it down as it recorded a very impressive 65 degrees Celsius. That's a mammoth 23 degrees Celsius reduction in operating temperatures! This comes at a price of course, as the two fans on the Palit Revolution 700 Deluxe wasn't particularly quiet, and because it is a of a triple-slot design, it does mean that the card takes up a lot of real estate, which can be bad news for those with small casings or those that can't easily take in multi-slot peripherals.
The HIS Radeon HD 4870 IceQ 4+ Turbo, with its new and improved IceQ 4+ cooler also performed admirably. It recorded 61 degrees Celsius, making it the coolest card here and among the Radeon HD 4870 group in particular. While the new IceQ 4+ cooler was not as quiet as its predecessor, it was not loud by any means.
Sadly, this is where the NVIDIA cards fell short. Because both the cards picked out in this article sported reference coolers, neither managed record temperatures that were lower than their reference counterparts. In fact, we found the Leadtek WinFast GTX 260 Extreme+ to be a tad hotter than a reference GeForce GTx 260 Core 216 (which is also expected since it's the same cooling solution needed by a faster clocked card).
These cards are not going to win any green awards and it shows. None of the cards here managed to stand out and the lowest reading recorded was a still a considerable 259W at load. The highest, if you are wondering, goes to the Palit Revolution 700 Deluxe, which clocked an incredible 416W at load. The NVIDIA cards didn't do any better either, with the Zotac GeForce GTX 280 AMP! Edition and Leadtek WinFast GTX 260 Extreme+ managing 342W and 288W at load respectively. If it's any consolation, the NVIDIA cards recorded the lowest power draw at idle. Load power can't really be compared because each of them cater to different performance needs, but it does give you a good picture of the hidden costs of owning higher powered cards.