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Power Consumption And Temperatures

System Builder Marathon, August 2012: $500 Gaming PC
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We enabled power-saving features on both rigs and didn’t override automatic fan controls during testing. In effect, we traded higher core temperatures for quieter fan operation.

Both systems are driven by the same Antec VP-450 power supply, which offers respectable efficiency, despite the fact that it lacks an 80 PLUS certification.

Although idle consumption was only 50.2 W last quarter, and 50.1 W back in June of last year with a Core i3-2100 and Radeon HD 6850 under the hood, this marks the first time our budget gaming PC pulls less than 50 W from the wall. Outfitted with a higher-clocked Pentium processor, however, today's rig consumes 2 W more at 100% processor load than our previous efforts.

MSI's GeForce GTX 560 reaches a respectable 950 MHz core frequency after a voltage bump to 1.050 V, though that results in a substantial increase in peak power consumption under 3DMark 11.

While the performance of Intel’s bundled heat sink isn't impressive, it does offer quiet operation and adequate cooling for our multiplier-locked processor.

MSI’s dual-fan thermal solution effectively cools the overclocked and overvolted GeForce GTX 560, never ramping up past 53% duty cycle. We also have to keep in mind the greater interior volume of today’s enclosure. Bottom line: GPU temperatures were of little concern on either build, as both GeForce cards had cooling to spare.

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Top Comments
  • 24 Hide
    crisan_tiberiu , August 20, 2012 5:19 AM
    so, looks like 500$ (Euro in europe :p ) its enaugh to play any modern game that is trown on the market... ty consoles :p 
  • 20 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , August 20, 2012 5:30 AM
    Quote:
    I think it would be interesting if next quarter for your Budget PC you try to bring the performance per watt as high as you can while still maintaining an enjoyable gaming experience. Something like a G620+HD7750/70 with a high efficiency PSU such as Rosewill CAPSTONE 450.


    On the contrary, for a 500$ build, energy consumption and heat should be least concerns. Tweaking, overclocking and extracting the last possible performance from your hardware are the primary concerns of a 500$ gaming build. Even after HEAVY overclocking, you wont get 50W over the stock settings.
  • 16 Hide
    emad_ramlawi , August 20, 2012 9:32 AM
    Now thats what i call an balanced build, good job .

    Also i agree with itzsnypah, Tom hardware should make an article on PC build with maximum performance that you can squeeze out of lowest watt, some people started to care about those things, and being green to the environment is nothing to be ashamed of.
Other Comments
  • 24 Hide
    crisan_tiberiu , August 20, 2012 5:19 AM
    so, looks like 500$ (Euro in europe :p ) its enaugh to play any modern game that is trown on the market... ty consoles :p 
  • 1 Hide
    itzsnypah , August 20, 2012 5:22 AM
    I think it would be interesting if next quarter for your Budget PC you try to bring the performance per watt as high as you can while still maintaining an enjoyable gaming experience. Something like a G620+HD7750/70 with a high efficiency PSU such as Rosewill CAPSTONE 450.

    Ever since I read the 7950B/7970GE review on here/anand performance per watt for me has been a priority when selecting components.
  • 20 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , August 20, 2012 5:30 AM
    Quote:
    I think it would be interesting if next quarter for your Budget PC you try to bring the performance per watt as high as you can while still maintaining an enjoyable gaming experience. Something like a G620+HD7750/70 with a high efficiency PSU such as Rosewill CAPSTONE 450.


    On the contrary, for a 500$ build, energy consumption and heat should be least concerns. Tweaking, overclocking and extracting the last possible performance from your hardware are the primary concerns of a 500$ gaming build. Even after HEAVY overclocking, you wont get 50W over the stock settings.
  • 2 Hide
    sam_fisher , August 20, 2012 5:55 AM
    mayankleoboy1On the contrary, for a 500$ build, energy consumption and heat should be least concerns. Tweaking, overclocking and extracting the last possible performance from your hardware are the primary concerns of a 500$ gaming build. Even after HEAVY overclocking, you wont get 50W over the stock settings.


    One may presume that someone after a $500 build is on a budget and hence doesn't want higher power consumption from overclocking.
  • 7 Hide
    loops , August 20, 2012 6:48 AM
    At least I can take less heat for recommending b75 mobo...
  • 6 Hide
    itzsnypah , August 20, 2012 6:57 AM
    mayankleoboy1On the contrary, for a 500$ build, energy consumption and heat should be least concerns. Tweaking, overclocking and extracting the last possible performance from your hardware are the primary concerns of a 500$ gaming build. Even after HEAVY overclocking, you wont get 50W over the stock settings.

    According to the performance summary and efficiency page of this article Overclocking the GPU had a 13%(average according to this article) increase in power consumption for an extra 2% (average) performance. That seems like the opposite thing I'm talking about.

    Overclocking is good for performance per dollar, not performance per watt.
  • -1 Hide
    abegnale , August 20, 2012 7:40 AM
    @Paul Henningsen,
    Why not substitute some existing parts for either an I3-2100 and/or an eVGA 560 Superclocked?
  • -5 Hide
    giovanni86 , August 20, 2012 8:45 AM
    Nice, looking forward to the next builds. Some times OC does yield its advantages, those few frames can help and have helped me in games running smoothly or just over 30FPS. I honestly don't see why people are concerned with power, PC's don't cost much to run even overclocked. Unless your poor or working at McDonald's, then i see no reason why power is an issue unless otherwise stated. This whole green thing is a pain in the ass. I'm power hungry sorry.
  • 8 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , August 20, 2012 9:22 AM
    ^ there are no existing parts. This is a new build :) 
  • 16 Hide
    emad_ramlawi , August 20, 2012 9:32 AM
    Now thats what i call an balanced build, good job .

    Also i agree with itzsnypah, Tom hardware should make an article on PC build with maximum performance that you can squeeze out of lowest watt, some people started to care about those things, and being green to the environment is nothing to be ashamed of.
  • -2 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , August 20, 2012 12:07 PM
    ^

    Then i have this Excellent VIA CPU+MB combo for you. Efficient as hell. Best bang for the Watt possible. Ever.
  • 3 Hide
    sarinaide , August 20, 2012 12:28 PM
    sarinaideWe need to enforce the "no celeron please" rule, terrible for that $500 PC.

    "Pentium"
  • 11 Hide
    supall , August 20, 2012 12:53 PM
    Thanks for this article. This gives me more ideas on how to build a computer for my brother this coming Christmas. Although, by that time, I would love to see if it might be possible for a Trinity-based gaming system to be built for around $500 and how it performs against this build.
  • 13 Hide
    MaxGardener , August 20, 2012 2:09 PM
    doggysoftStop using those f*cked up CPUs... why you keep using crappy pentiums???I bet that my good old Phenom 955 will blow away ANY pentium you've put so far in 500$ crappy pc.PLEASE I beg you stop using this sh*t... Since half a year you see a CPU limitation and you keep putting pentiums. When someone make a mistake the next time fix it but you don't... I bet Intel pays alot no other eplonation here!


    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-apu-benchmark,3120-10.html

    pretty damn close, the Phenom 955 is definitely more attractive for overclockers, but offer limited upgradablilty because of motherboards etc. Pentiums use the 1155 socket, and therefore are upgradable to a better 2nd gen or 3rd gen processor, which anything above the g860 kicks the shit out of the Phenom
  • 4 Hide
    jabliese , August 20, 2012 2:10 PM
    Temperatures above Ambient chart, you have the current PC vs the current PC.
  • 1 Hide
    BSMonitor , August 20, 2012 2:45 PM
    Quote:
    One may presume that someone after a $500 build is on a budget and hence doesn't want higher power consumption from overclocking.


    Well, there is "living in my parents basement and unemployed" budget. And there is "living on my own" budget. Clearly, mayankleoboy1, is the loving parent budget.

    Not hating though, the Kardashians all do
  • -3 Hide
    blazorthon , August 20, 2012 2:55 PM
    crisan_tiberiuso, looks like 500$ (Euro in europe ) its enaugh to play any modern game that is trown on the market... ty consoles


    Of course a $500 machine should be able to play any PC games today. It can't play nearly as well as a higher end setup can, but are you so elitest that you think that people with less money shouldn't be allowed to play?
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