GPU temperature listed here is based on GPU-Z measurements of the on-chip temperature sensor.
We report these GPU temperatures under a constant load for ease of comparison, as well as an idle state most end users will experience often. This combination will help dictate cooling needs and provides context for how well the thermal solution performs.
Please note that GPU temperature is contingent on a variety of factors. Some, including clock speed, voltage settings, cooler design, and production variances, are beyond the control of the end user. Others, such as ambient temperature, case design, and airflow pathway affecting the GPU, can be mitigated to certain extents.
The data in the table above shows results for similar cards, achieved in identical conditions during previous TechPowerUp reviews.
In past years, gamers would accept everything for a little more performance. Nowadays, users are more aware of their graphics card's fan noise and power consumption.
In order to properly test how much noise a card's fan emits, we use a Bruel & Kjaer 2236 sound-level meter (~$4,000). It has the measurement range and accuracy we are looking for.
The tested graphics card is installed in a system that does not emit any noise on its own, using a passive PSU, passive CPU cooler, passive cooling on the motherboard, and a solid state drive. Noise results of other cards on this page are measurements of the respective reference design.
This setup allows us to eliminate secondary noise sources and test only the video card. To be more compliant with standards like DIN 45635 (we are not claiming to be fully DIN 45635 certified), the measurement is conducted at a distance of 100 cm and 160 cm off the floor. Ambient background noise inside the room was well below 20 dBA for all measurements. Please note that the dBA scale is not linear but logarithmic. 40 dBA is not twice as loud as 20 dBA since a 6 dBA increase results in double the sound pressure. The human hearing perception is a bit different, and it is generally accepted that a 10 dBA increase doubles the perceived sound level. 3D load noise levels are tested with a stressful game, not with Furmark.
Unlike other GTX 1660 cards tested today, MSI has included the idle-fan-stop feature. Good job!
Gaming noise levels are excellent; quieter than any other GTX 1660 card we've reviewed today, and temperatures are good, too.