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Low power consumption GC

Discussion in 'Graphics Cards' started by nocrapman, Apr 23, 2010.

  1. nocrapman New Member

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    Hi Folks!
    I am looking to convert my backup rig into a low power consuming unit. I just realised that because of the ATI 1900 XTX that it has, gobs up power even while idling ... about 155watts/hr even though it runs a dual core phenom II(550). Compare this to my main rig which is quad core phenom (940) and only uses 90watts/hr OCed to 3.4G idling and about 125-130 on load. My guesstimate is the 1900 is sucking up about 75 odd watts even by conservative estimates.
    I would like to change this to a low power consuming but still decent GC. Wont be playing many games on this. Gets used for HT purposes sometimes (grabbing video/encoding etc). And also is my backup rig, in case I burn down my main rig!

    Please suggest something that would be an upgrade in performance but a downgrade in power consumption.
    Thanks everybody!
  2. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    if you want one with decent gaming performance, the radeon 5770 cannot be overlooked. ~17W at idle, its brilliant.

    If you dont need gaming, then just about anything really... depspite some common misconceptions, home theater/home cinema use requires very little from the graphics card (128MB onboard can handle hardware accelerated 1080P bluray, for example).

    As for encoding n such, 99% of those programs use the CPU only, so the video card is useless there as well.
    nocrapman says thanks.
  3. Thrackan

    Thrackan

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    I'm actually planning for a low-power HTPC atm, should be entirely passively cooled too :D So I'm gonna watch this thread.

    Your x1900 is definitely the power gobbler here. Try onboard video and measure the watts again, you'll be astounded.
  4. nocrapman New Member

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    The 5770 might fit the bills pretty well here. I just hope that the fans dont make a rukus.
    Looking the 5750 too but at this point, I am leaning more towards the 70 as there isnt a significant price difference. And who knows one of these days they might even come out with a PC only decent game.

    I dont have onboard Video on this unit... otherwise it would have been perfect.
    As far as HTPC is concerned... I think the PS3 or even the 360 does most of what a good HTPC should do. With my computer or a NAS acting as a server... the HTPC becomes redundant and overpriced compared to a $300 PS3.
    Now there a few things that I use a PC for in my HT... Video grabbing/encoding. The rest is all PLAYON/TVERSITY/HULU!
  5. Thrackan

    Thrackan

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    Oh crap, that's the first board in Gigabyte's AM3 series I see without onboard GFX :D
  6. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    gah, broken quotes everywhere. i'ma fix them for you all

    edit: done
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  7. nocrapman New Member

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  8. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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  9. nocrapman New Member

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    Just an update!
    So I went with number 1 above and although it works as expected and runs absolutely quiet. The Idling power consumption is still higher/equal to my Quad core phenom rig(onboard braphics) on full load: about 130-135 watts.
    Just to reiterate the comparison:

    1. Phenom ii x4 with onboard graphics, OCed to 3.4Gz, normal volts.
    Power consumption when idle - 90 watts (as measured by kill-a-watt)
    Power consumption on full load - 130-135 watts

    2. Phenom ii x2 with outboard GC, Oced to 3.4 Gz, normal volts.
    With ATI 1900xtx Power consumption when idle - 155watts
    With ATI HD5770 Power consumption when idle - 130 watts
    With ATI HD5770 Power consumption on full load - 185 watts

    So it seems 5770 is not as efficient/green as its touted to be?
    What do you guys think is going on?
  10. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    sounds like the low power state isnt working. check what your clocks are lowering to at idle, via GPU-Z
  11. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    Inefficient psu of the backup rig? The idle power consumption is a bit dodgy, but the full load one is a good number, it is only about 50w more hungry than the X4.
  12. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    i've heard reports of some 5770's idling to 400/1200 or something, instead of the 157/400 (i'm not sure on the clocks precisely)

    Some people say a BIOS flash of the cards fixed it, others say it was a registry setting to do with ULPS (ultra low power state).

    Then again, i hear of OTHER people who raised the clocks deliberately, to fix issues with multi monitor setups.. i think some of the drivers do that automatically.
  13. nocrapman New Member

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    I was thinking about the PSU too and if it was the culprit. Only one way to find out... actually 2:
    1. Upgrade the PSU to a nice modular Cosair unit, something I have been eyeing for a while.... awaiting a good deal.

    2. Stick the GC into the x4 rig and see how much the power consumption jumps?

    Now once I get back home later in the day... I will run GPU-z to look for clocks. I am also certain that they came out with brand new drivers on the 28th for the 32 bit. I dont know if the 64 bit version came out yet... maybe that does the trick.

    BTW, even in the BIOS, when I am fiddling around, the power draw stays high - around 150. I am assuming that the 5770 isnt working very hard at that point...
  14. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    everything runs full speed in the BIOS, they have no power saving at all until the OS loads.

    So while they arent at full load, they entire machine is still at full speed with zero power saving active.
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