NVIDIA GeForce GPUs feature hotspot temperature measurement akin to AMD Radeon ones, according to an investigative report by Igor’s Lab. A beta version of HWInfo already supports hotspot measurement. As its name suggests, the hotspot is the hottest spot on the GPU, measured from a network of thermal sensors across the GPU die, unlike conventional “GPU Temperature” sensors, which reads off a single physical location of the GPU die. AMD refers to this static sensor as “Edge temperature.” In some cases, the reported temperature of this sensor could differ from the hotspot by as much as 20°C, which underscores the importance of hotspot. The sensor with the highest temperature measurement becomes the hotspot.
GPU manufacturers rarely disclose the physical locations of on-die thermal sensors, but during the AMD Radeon VII, we got a rare glimpse at this, in a company slide, with the sensors being located near components that can get the hottest, such as the compute units (pictured below). Igor’s Lab put out measurements of the deviation between the hotspot and “GPU temperature” sensors on a GeForce RTX 3090 Founders Edition card. There’s a much narrower deviation between the two (between 11-14°C), and than the one between hotspot and Edge temperature on an MSI Radeon RX 6800 XT Gaming X Trio (which posts a 12-20°C difference).