How does AMD powerplay work?

I read something about it being able to lower power usage when a video card is not being loaded. Can anyone comment on this? I am also debating ATI 4870 1GB vs. GTX 260 because the I heard the 260 uses a lot less power at idle/non gaming.
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More about powerplay work
  1. I like nVidia, so thats what I buy and I can get video cards with a lifetime warranty.
  2. It works similar to the intel speed stepping. It downclocks the card to something like 500MHz when in idle to reduce the power consumption. I don't know anything deeper than that like what the % GPU load triggers are but in a nutshell, that is what it does.
  3. You probably want to compare with GTX 260 core 216. They are almost on an equal level.
    GTX 260 is inferior to HD4870 1 GB.
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