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Best Card for Low Power Consumption?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 10, 2006 9:37:39 PM

Hey, guys. I have a tough question that I wanted to pose to the experts. A friend of mine has an HP machine was a weak 300 Watt power supply. He's currently running an FX 5500 and he needs a new AGP card that can give him solid performance (budget = $200). THere are plenty of monster AGP cards to be had for that price, but I'm worried about overtaxing the system's power supply.


So, here's the question: what's the best AGP card that draws the least power? What card would you feel comfortable suggesting?


He's running an Athlon 64 3500+, DVD Drive, CDRW Drive, sound card and two hard drives on a fairly generic HP 300 watt power supply, if that information helps.


Thanks for the help!
August 10, 2006 10:11:00 PM

According to Xbit lab's "Power consumption of modern graphics cards" review, an ATI card should generally consume less energy, and require less amps from the 12volt rail than Nvdia's cards.



Judging by the power consumption of the fx5700, your friends fx5500 probably consumes around 22 watts under max load. A GeForce 6800 vanilla looks to be a decent upgrade card with acceptable power consumption.

Here's a look at even lower end cards:



This graph shows that a vanilla 6600 consumes relatively little power despite that fact that it performs better than the x1300. It would also be a good upgrade choice.
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a b U Graphics card
August 11, 2006 4:36:36 AM

Yeah I second the GF7600 series the 7600GT consumes less power than a GF6600GT, so the 7600GS is the better choice since it'll consume less than the GTs , better performance than 6600GT or plain 6800, and less power consumption.
August 11, 2006 7:27:45 AM

The 6600GT actually consumes more power than a vanilla 6800, due to the DDR3 ram used on a 6600GT.



If the 7600Gt uses DDR3 (I honestly don't know a lot about the 7xxx series), it will also consume more power than the 6800. The 7600 GS will probably work fine though, but I have not seen any numbers to confirm.
a b U Graphics card
August 11, 2006 1:11:53 PM

Search further into the Xbit library (well actually more recently), this discussion has come up before, and the GF7600GT consumes LESS powah than the GF6600GT, and considering the clock rates and such the GS is bound to consume even less. Also there are three kinds of GF6800 vanilla, and the DDR and DDR2 kind are rubbish, only the GDDR3 kinda are to be even considered anyways. And your theories about GDDR3 make no sense because clock for clock the it goes DDRII>DDR>GDDR3>GDDR4 for power consumption, so it's unlikely that it's GDDR3 alone causing the power, but the memory and more importantly the core are clocked much faster and therefore likely builds up more resistance and heat thus increasing voltage (and power) required to operate, see that's more plausable than just 'it uses GDDR3'.

See we know the GF6600GT consumes more powah from having posted it before.... several times, however I suggest you simply look at Xbit's most recent review of Power & Noise, and I'm sure you'll see it too.
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/power-no...

Perhaps next time skipped the old numbers and look at the most recent. :tongue:
August 11, 2006 7:37:55 PM

thank you for pointing me to the most recent review! Yes, the 7600 looks to be very good.

Would you happen to have any links for the power consumption of very old cards, like the GF3/GF4 series? I'm curious as to how much power these old cards consumed compared to these newer high performance cards.
a b U Graphics card
August 11, 2006 8:39:14 PM

unfortunately there aren't many, but I do have one somewhere. I'll have to look in my saved links (hoping it's still an active page).

Lars also did 1 review of powerconsumption here with THG a while back, but it was at the outlet, not the board, and it was of the FX and R3xxgenerations IIRC. I'll see what I can find I rememebr a french site that we used for a long time because no one would do these tests, we even had an open letter to Tom and Lars about it back in the day.
August 13, 2006 2:26:56 PM

I'm with Joe. If you can find out an article about the GF3/GF4 series, that'd be great. Thanks!

~Ibrahim~
a b U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
August 13, 2006 7:02:57 PM

I just thought I'd point out that it really wouldn't be that expensive to upgrade the power supply. That's a lot more straight forward then trying to find a low power GPU and shouldn't run more than about $50 to get up to 450watts
a b U Graphics card
August 13, 2006 7:25:10 PM

I had that power supply. It has a single wimpy 18amp 12V rail and isn't very good for the newer cpus and gaming cards.
August 13, 2006 7:54:30 PM

Thanks for the link, Paul. Yeah, I haven't heard great things about that particular Thermaltake. If you need a good, cheap PSU upgrade, this should be on the top of your list:

FSP 400W

Look at that, 36A on the 12V+! Every rail has at least 30A on it, which should be more than enough. Only bad thing is: No PCI-e...

The PCI-e version drops amps on the 3.3 and the 5V, but comes with the connector...

~Ibrahim~
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