If you want to configure your own fan profile, it is important to know how efficient the cooler is. You obviously want as much cooling as possible with low noise levels. To test this we measure with what fan profile the card is as close to 40 dB(A) as possible. After that we run 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme for 10 minutes and measure the maximum temperature of the card. For this we turn the temperature limit off, because this could affect the test results.
This is only an indication, meant to make it easier to compare the graphics cards. We run the tests on a test bench, meaning that the card could be cooler than when it is in a regular case. Based on this you should not expect to have the same results in terms of noise levels and cooling.
90 degrees was the maximum configurable temperature limit: in the 40dB-test the card showed throttling between the 1600 and 1700 MHz because of this. The limited cooling surface clearly has an impact on the cooling efficiency.