Power consumptionCooling modern video cards is becoming more and more difficult, especially when users are asking for quiet cooling solutions. That's why the engineers are now paying much more attention to power consumption of new video card designs.
To measure power consumption the whole system's mains power draw was measured. This means that these numbers include CPU, Memory, HDD, Video card and PSU inefficiency.
The load value was obtained by running 3DMark03 Nature at 1280x1024, 6xAA, 16xAF. This results in the highest power consumption. While the test was running, power consumption was recorded. The highest reading is listed in the following graph.
Very interesting numbers here. It seems that 256 MB of GDDR3 memory and lower clocks make a power comsumption difference of about 30 Watts. Overall ATI's power consumption is significantly higher than NVIDIA's which also means that you need better cooling.
ATI's cooling solution does exhaust hot air outside of the case, so that the card can always suck in new fresh air. When you are gaming and the fan is running at a higher speed you can hold your hand into the air stream coming from the card. You will notice that the air coming out of the case is really warm.