FLIR Thermal Imaging
We’ll start out with a big Thank You to FLIR for sending us the new FLIR ONE PRO to assist in this part of the reviews.
About the FLIR ONE PRO:
The FLIR ONE Pro gives you the power to find invisible problems faster than ever. Combining a higher-resolution thermal sensor able to measure temperatures up to 400°C with powerful measurement tools and report generation capability, the FLIR ONE Pro will work as hard as you do. Its revolutionary VividIR™ image processing lets you see more details and provide your customers with proof that you solved their problem right the first time. The updated design includes the revolutionary OneFit™ adjustable connector to fit your phone, without taking the phone out of its compatible protective case. An improved FLIR ONE app lets you measure multiple temperatures or regions of interest at once and stream to your smartwatch for remote viewing. Whether you’re inspecting electrical panels, looking for HVAC problems, or finding water damage, the new FLIR ONE Pro is a tool no serious professional should be without.
THERMAL IMAGING: HOW IT WORKS
Thermal cameras work by converting that heat energy, emitted or reflected by practically everything on earth, into color images. These color images enable anyone to not only see in total darkness and through smoke and haze but to also safely measure temperature without touching a surface. They are sensitive enough to differentiate temperature differences to fractions of a degree.
Want one yourself or want to know more?
Testing environment – approximately 20C/68F
Starting out at idle, we find the fans don’t run, a part of MSI’s Zero FROZR design. According to GPU-Z, the Core reaches around 46-50C in this out-of-the-box state with no load beyond normal Windows desktop 2D. Peeking through the gap between fan blades, we record temps in the upper 30C’s, showing around 36.6C here at the warmest parts of the picture.
The ‘rear’ of the card is covered in a large metal backplate, but in our open test bench, it receives very little air flow. After around half an hour of idle time, we find the heatsink to average around 33C, with the PCB underneath pushing the 37-40C mark, slightly warm, but not bad considering the card is effectively passively cooled at this stage.
Running Unigine Heaven for north of a half an hour to warm the card up, we again measure temps.
The triple fan cooler slings heat in nearly all directions, pumping a massive amount of heat into an ordinary case, so we recommend good case airflow for traditional closed cases. A fair amount of this heated air is blown against the motherboard, so we have a shield between the camera and the board so we can see only the GPU’s thermal signature. Since the FLIR ONE PRO combines a traditional camera with the thermal camera, we took a picture here with the Visible camera so you can get a better idea of what you are looking at. The two black loops above the center of the card are the AIO hoses for the CPU cooler. The green box in the back is a spare printer toner cartridge we forgot to move before picture time.
This is the visible camera image of our rear testing.
Under load, the GPU’s fans spin up to around 1200 RPM, still very quiet, and we see the warmest parts of the heatsink area getting to the low 60C range. The power cable and plugs are in the path of the exiting warmed air and how as quite a bit warmer than the surrounding air, but this is entirely from the GPU’s exhaust, and not from overloading.
The rear of the card gets quite toasty, with the PCB reaching around 85C, the backplate is a warm 65C as it tries to pull this heat away.
This is the GPUz readout, the card is running pretty well flatlined at 1961Mhz, and 66C at the core.
Next, we’ll manually crank the fan speed to 100% while under load to see how the temps react.
After half an hour at 100% fan speed, we see the Core temp has fallen to an almost chilly 46C peak, and often closer to the low 40C’s.
How does the card look under IR?
We can see the heatsink temps have fallen to about what the GPU’s core temp is reading, meaning it is an efficient cooling solution.
The temperatures on the rear of the card have crashed from a steamy 85C on the PCB to a more manageable 57C, while the backplate itself is also hovering around the 46C mark. Keep in mind again though, this is with almost no airflow over the back of the card, in a case with good airflow, you can expect the temps at the back of the card to come down even further.