NVIDIA Ampere HotSpot temperature test with HWiNFO
The popular monitoring tool will soon offer a way to measure the hottest part of NVIDIA GPUs.
Igor Wallossek (Igor’sLAB) tested the upcoming feature of the HWiNFO, a popular PC monitoring tool. The software will soon be able to read the data from the hottest sensor of the GPU, a feature that has not been available to NVIDIA Ampere GPUs yet. This combined with ‘memory junction temperature’ measurement can paint a different picture on graphics card cooler efficiency. In other words, it could be a very useful feature to reviewers or GPU enthusiasts.
AMD RDNA2 hotspot measurement is already available in HWiNFO software, but it is not entirely certain what is being reported by the GPU sensor. In fact, the value may refer to multiple sensors or only provide information on a certain group. In the end, we know that the difference between the reported GPU temperature and the hotspot temperature varies between 12 to 20 degrees Celcius, Igor Wallossek reports.
The hotspot reading may play a crucial role in how the cooler behaves. It is used by the GPU for telemetry and controls the speed of the fans, as well as various GPU functions that may be shut when once the temperature reaches a certain level.
Thanks to Igor’s testing, it would appear that RTX 3090 hotspot measurement provides different information than AMD’s. It would also appear that AMD hotspot reading can easily reach the same level as the GDDR6 memory. This is not the case for RTX 3090 hotspot temperature which does indeed go 11 to 14 degrees higher than globally reported GPU temperature but does not reach the temperature of the GDDR6X memory at any point once the card gets hotter.
With NVIDIA cards, I’ve measured between 11 and 14 degrees difference between the temperature readings so far, which is significantly less than the difference with the Radeon cards, even though the GPU along with the package is significantly flatter on the Radeons. Either NVIDIA uses completely different sensor positions here, or the chip itself has fewer real hotspots. So far, this could not be clarified exactly (and probably won’t be). Nevertheless, a significantly higher hotspot value compared to the GPU temperature is also a very reliable indicator for a non-optimal cooler mounting at NVIDIA.
— Igor Wallossek
Hopefully, at some point in the future, both NVIDIA and AMD will provide details on what exactly is being reported through hotspot temperatures for their graphics processors. At this point, it is hard to draw any conclusions or make an apple to apple comparison, due to limited information on the reported values and early state of the hotspot reading implementation in HWiNFO.
Igor reports that the next beta of HWiNFO will report hotspot temperature in the Sensor tab after ‘several verifications and plausibility tests’: