Top-end graphics cards noise tested in Oblivion

The folks at PC have done something a little bit unique by testing the latest ultra-high-end video cards (in French, or translated)—the Radeon X1900 XTX GeForce 7900 GTX—with all image quality settings cranked up in the gorgeous Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. ATI walks away having made a convincing statement about the uses for its 48 pixel shader processors in newer games. Even the now-famous "Chuck" patch is tested, and Chuck comes out smelling like a rose; the X1900 XTX with HDR lighting and antialiasing together outruns the 7900 GTX without AA.

The unique thing here, though, is a pair of videos showing how the two cards' coolers look and sound during a 100-second session of the game at these settings. With PC's permission, here are the videos of the GeForce 7900 GTX:

...and of the Radeon X1900 XTX

You have to watch all the way through the videos to see and hear the coolers kick it into their highest gears. The methodology isn't perfect, and I wish they would have closed the window before filming, but the results speak for themselves, for the most part. Having worked with both cards, I think the videos give one a good sense of how they "feel" under load. Perhaps we need to add this kind of thing to our test suite, to go along with some readings on the decibel meter.
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