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Power-Usage Benchmarks

System Builder Marathon: $1,250 Mid-Range PC

We've added power-usage benchmarks to this month's SBM. Unfortunately, we no longer have last month's SBM systems to test, but we will be able to compare power draw in the future. For now though, we can have a good look at the difference between idle and load power draw.

The first Active Idle test takes place when the PC idles in Windows, and is not hibernating or in sleep mode. The next test involves running the CPU at full load. It is performed by using the Prime95 CPU stress testing program, set to calculate small FFTs (fast Fourier transform).

GPU load is measured during the Perlin noise test in 3DMark Vantage, as we found it to be the most power-hungry test in the suite. And of course, CPU and GPU load is run using both of those tests simultaneously:

As we can see, the overclocked system uses on average 40% more power than it does when at stock clock speeds. When overclocked, this month's enthusiast PC uses about 600 W, which is a pretty impressive amount of power and we have to commend the Corsair 650TX for handling it well. It's also interesting to note that at stock clocks, the system tops out at closer to 450 W.

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