Here's the power supply's total consumption. This sums up the consumption of the configuration as a whole including the Tagan U15 530 W power supply losses, which are 20% on the range of power considered here.
As expected the GeForce 8800 GTS 512 MB, which is based on the G92, raises the power consumption compared to the 8800 GT but not excessively. The rise in the configuration's power consumption reaches 7 W when idle and 18 W when in peak (this is once the PSU losses have been subtracted). It allows the card to remain below the level of the previous GeForce 8800 GTS, but also below the HD 3870 in peak. While idle, the more advanced process used by AMD allow it to keep the upper hand. This value is without a doubt the most important when it comes to electrical costs and the PC's carbon-footprint from global use.
Noise, Temperatures, Overclocking
The GeForce 8800 GTS 512 MB doesn't appear to be louder than the 8800 GT, which is a very good thing. The fan was quiet and didn't accelerate during our benchmarks. No worries here.
Let's note that this reduces our interest in the Gigabyte version that replaces the heatsink with the VF-700-FS01 from Zalman. The latter doesn't correct a potential flaw on the original version but on the contrary, cancels the requirement for a heatsink on the memory chips.
In regards to temperatures, we picked up a drop of approximately 5°C when compared to a GeForce 8800 GT in the same conditions. This is thanks to the prominent cooling system. We obtained 55°C in idle and 85°C in peak. Those values are lower than those found on the Radeon HD3870. Given all of this, the GeForce 8800 GTX and its much less evolved processes are only slightly hotter in idle (58°C) and remains 1°C below the 8800 GTS 512 MB in peak.
Where overclocking is concerned, we were quite surprised. We thought the GPU, already pushed to high frequencies and equipped with 128 stream processors would not gain much compared to the memory. The opposite was true. We've been able to push the G92 of the 8800 GTS 512 MB from 650 to 776 MHz (+19% or 500 GFlops, meaning 44% better than a GTX!). All this is really impressive and a good sign regarding the G92 yields. However, the memory didn't support more than a 3.5% increase, by reaching 1004 MHz with difficulty. This is perfectly reasonable for a memory chip certified to run at 1 GHz. In the end, with a game quite demanding in raw throughput like Age of Empires 3, we gained 9%.