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Zotac Graphics Cards Pay for Themselves

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 25 comments

Greentech, power optimization, saving the Earth, utilizing less resources--power saving features are an important feature to have these days, on any product.

We managed to catch up with Zotac, who told us that there's an increasing demand for graphics cards that utilize less energy but still provide good gaming performance.

Enter the Zotac 9600 GT and 9800 GT cards. Neither card utilizes a separate power feed, and rely solely on the PCI-e connection. According to Zotac, the 9600 GT and 9800 GT deliver up to 40-percent power savings when compared to other 9600 GT and 9800 GT products on the market. Zotac told us that it went with its own custom designed board utilizing components not on the original OEM standard build to deliver better longevity and better power utilization.

According to Zotac engineers, if one were to use the card for 2 hours a day, everyday of the year, they would save roughly $100. Most users tend to leave their computers on for much longer durations and some don't even turn off their systems. At these usage levels, users can expect even greater returns, with the cards paying for themselves quickly.

Of course, Zotac also showed off its full line of graphics cards, all the way up to its GTX 285 AMP edition.

We're definitely hoping that more manufacturers follow Zotac's lead in this space.

Display 25 Comments.
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Top Comments
  • 11 Hide
    doomtomb , June 4, 2009 12:07 PM
    I like Zotac's innovations in the industry.
Other Comments
  • 3 Hide
    Pei-chen , June 4, 2009 11:34 AM
    Go Zotac, ASUS, Gigabyte and MSI with their power saving special PCB graphic cards.
  • 11 Hide
    doomtomb , June 4, 2009 12:07 PM
    I like Zotac's innovations in the industry.
  • 2 Hide
    Onus , June 4, 2009 12:23 PM
    Very nice. These will go on my short list for future builds that don't absolutely require more graphics horsepower (they shouldn't).
  • 0 Hide
    Onus , June 4, 2009 12:31 PM
    ...well, they will when Newegg has them. All their Zotacs now are older ones with power connectors on them.
  • 1 Hide
    fudgeboy , June 4, 2009 12:31 PM
    it would be so much better if it actually DID pay for itself.... oh well - back to work....
  • 4 Hide
    KyleSTL , June 4, 2009 1:09 PM
    Numbers time:

    PCIe can supply 75W max. Let's say the 9800GT is consuming exactly that much. 40% (maximum quote power savings) of 75W is 30W savings.

    30W * 2hours/day * 365days/year * 1kW/1000W = 21.9kW-hr ~= $2.20 (assuming $0.10/kW-hr)

    I call B.S. Someone back me up on correct math, but 'paying for itself in power savings' is busted.
  • 8 Hide
    siliconchampion , June 4, 2009 1:35 PM
    @KyleSTL

    What you would want to do is take 75 W and divide that by .6. this would give you the maximum power consumtion before the new power saving methods. This equals 125, so the difference would be 50 watts. (this difference represents a 40% savings from 125 watts to 75.)

    Also, electricity rates are more along the average of $0.12 per kw/h.

    So to correct you, the actual yearly savings amounts to a whopping $4.38.

    Regardless, I'd like to see how Zotac did its math.

    Also, if I am wrong, feel free to correct me.
  • 0 Hide
    rubix_1011 , June 4, 2009 1:45 PM
    It saves more energy if you just leave the computer off.
  • 7 Hide
    Anonymous , June 4, 2009 1:54 PM
    Maybe what they meant was, after you run the numbers and realize that you are only going to save a few dollars, you wont go out at buy one, thus saving you $100+. So the card really does pay for its self ;) 
  • 0 Hide
    830hobbes , June 4, 2009 1:55 PM
    siliconchampion@KyleSTLWhat you would want to do is take 75 W and divide that by .6. this would give you the maximum power consumtion before the new power saving methods. This equals 125, so the difference would be 50 watts. (this difference represents a 40% savings from 125 watts to 75.)Also, electricity rates are more along the average of $0.12 per kw/h.So to correct you, the actual yearly savings amounts to a whopping $4.38.Regardless, I'd like to see how Zotac did its math.Also, if I am wrong, feel free to correct me.


    Maybe they mean that's what you'll save over the life of the computer... and assume you'll own your computer for 20-25 years...
  • 2 Hide
    hillarymakesmecry , June 4, 2009 2:03 PM
    Silicon has the better math.

    They're also assuming you're using the card at it's potential for those two hours, when in reality about 10% of the time I spend on a computer is for gaming. The savings for my 2 hours a day would be even less.

    24 hours x 50 watts X 365 days / 1000kw/w X .12 cents an hour x 2= 105.08

    A 24 hour on system running folding at home with 2 cards in SLI would be $105.08. That's the only way I can see to get to $100.

    I guess if you run quad SLI(not sure if it's possible with these) then the absolute max savings you could possibly get out of using these cards would be $200+ depending on your local power cost.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , June 4, 2009 2:11 PM
    Why didn't they go for a Radeon 46xx series? That one is very efficient as well and has good performance!
  • 0 Hide
    sublifer , June 4, 2009 2:17 PM
    I'd like to see some tests on these, the 9800 in particular, does it run stable at stock speeds or did they underclock it? Will these have any overclocking potential without access to more power? How do they perform versus the regular samples?
  • 0 Hide
    keven000 , June 4, 2009 2:22 PM
    Don't forget that $0.12 per kw/h isnt the price everywhere... on my last bill i was paying $0.0545 per kw/h so i guess i like the cards for there green side more than for my saving ;) 
  • 0 Hide
    mr_fnord , June 4, 2009 2:22 PM
    This is obviously oriented toward the green consumer, who is obviously not using that dirty old coal-fired grid power. When you calculate the energy cost for the typical green home equipped with off-grid solar power, environmentally friendly non-lead batteries, and a combination composting toilet and biomass backup generator then the energy costs easily exceed $1/kWh. If you add in the additional cost in photovoltaics and battery reserves that must be purchased and the added cost of all that extra granola to feed the biomass toilet then the savings are clear...
  • 0 Hide
    mr_fnord , June 4, 2009 2:26 PM
    keven000Don't forget that $0.12 per kw/h isnt the price everywhere... on my last bill i was paying $0.0545 per kw/h so i guess i like the cards for there green side more than for my saving


    And how much are the fees and fuel surcharges? My power company hasn't increased the base utility rate in over 15 years, and it's about $.05/Kwh, but the fuel surcharges go up consistently, and are currently $.06/kWh plus a maintenance fee that increases based on usage, which comes out to around $.13/kWh.
  • 0 Hide
    keven000 , June 4, 2009 2:38 PM
    mr_fnordAnd how much are the fees and fuel surcharges? My power company hasn't increased the base utility rate in over 15 years, and it's about $.05/Kwh, but the fuel surcharges go up consistently, and are currently $.06/kWh plus a maintenance fee that increases based on usage, which comes out to around $.13/kWh.



    There is a 40 cents per day fee whatever is consume, but no maintenance or fuel fee. So that my computer is on or off i got to pay that and that's why i didn't talk about it. I'm living in Quebec City so it's nearly 100% hydro-electricity so there's no bases for them to make us pay for fuel surcharges and thanks for that!

    And it's in $ca
  • 0 Hide
    unlicensedhitman , June 4, 2009 2:57 PM
    KyleSTLNumbers time:p CIe can supply 75W max. Let's say the 9800GT is consuming exactly that much. 40% (maximum quote power savings) of 75W is 30W savings.30W * 2hours/day * 365days/year * 1kW/1000W = 21.9kW-hr ~= $2.20 (assuming $0.10/kW-hr)I call B.S. Someone back me up on correct math, but 'paying for itself in power savings' is busted.


    That's your graphics card only. Your PSU is what ranging from 500 to 750 Watts if you're running a 9600GT or 9800GT. I live in San Jose, CA and they charge about $.11/kWh. I have a 650Watt PSU with a 9800GT and I leave it on during most day for about 8 hours. That costs me about $10 a month on my electricity bill. However my total bill is only $25! W000t Go Environmental Science 10 @ EVC with Mr. G!
  • 1 Hide
    KyleSTL , June 4, 2009 3:12 PM
    Quote:
    Why didn't they go for a Radeon 46xx series? That one is very efficient as well and has good performance!

    Because Zotac is a nVidia-exclusive board partner, and because the 4600 series is already efficient enough. With the way ATi designed the under-volt/clock features when the card is idle there's no reason to make a 'green' edition when some independent sights have measured it's idle power consumption to be as low as 3W.
  • 0 Hide
    jwl3 , June 4, 2009 3:34 PM
    I highly doubt this. Every mfr. claims their products are tens of hundreds of times better than the competition. The 40% power discrepancy is too big, I'd believe them if they said they made it 10% more efficient. I mean, the engineers at the other card firms are not fools.
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