I have Dell Dimension E520, with Core 2 (E4300 @ 1.80GHz), 2GB RAM, running 32-bit Windows 7 Pro . I also dual boot Linux (Slackware 13.1 x86_64). I don't play games. I have two options for graphics, either to use ob-board intel 965G chipset or nvidia 8600GT. I can imagine if I use built-in option it would put more load on CPU. Now my question is which would consume less power? I can go with nvidia 8600GT if power consumption is not much. Will switching back to Vista basic or XP will make difference?
Power consumption of GF 8600 GT is only 43 Watts and it has better performance than your integrated Intel GMA X3000. There is no way to know for sure how much power GMA X3000 consumes because it's integrated (build) in your system/main board.
if your running windows 7, using the Aero interface, the 8600gt would give the whole system a speedier feel. You can also use it to play older games that the onboard gfx is not capable of. It also hardware accellerates Adobe Flash for better flash performance and better video decoding. If i had it lying around i would use it, the extra power consumption will not be noticeable, a few more watts for desktop apps and maybe 40watts under full load while playing a game......
Thanks all for you valuable suggestions. 43 W for 8600GT and lets say 20 W for 965G.. difference is not that much (23W, may be less). Am I right in thinking that nvidia would take 43W only when playing 3D games and would take less than that when doing normal windows operations? I can even give up Aero and just use windows classic theme. To be honest I don't really play games on my PC at all. Only have Tomb Raider: Anniversary which by the way came with Xpertvision nvidia 8600GT pack.