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.
|CPU:||AMD Athlon64 FX-60 @ 2900 MHz|
(Toledo, 2x 1024 KB Cache)
ATI Radeon XPRESS 3200
|Memory:||2x 1024MB G.Skill F1-4000BIU2-2GBHV CL3|
|Harddisk:||WD Raptor 360GD 36 GB|
|Power Supply:||OCZ GameXStream 700W|
|Software:||Windows XP SP2|
In order to characterize a video card's 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 three result values are as following:
- Idle: Windows sitting at the desktop (1024x768 32-bit) all windows closed, drivers installed.
- Average: 3DMark03 Nature at 1280x1024, 6xAA, 16xAF. This results in the highest power consumption. Average of all readings (two per second) while the test was rendering (no title screen).
- Peak: 3DMark03 Nature at 1280x1024, 6xAA, 16xAF. This results in the highest power consumption. Highest single reading
As we can see the card needs quite some power, especially in idle where it consumes more power than an X1900 XTX CrossFire setup with two cards! Under load the power consumption is much better which can be attributed to ATI's new power saving technologies inside the GPU. However, compared against the GeForce 8800 GTX, ATI still has some way to go to reach performance/watt leadership.