At idle, all of these cards do fairly well. The only outliers are the two GF100-based boards, which use about 10W more than competing GF104- and Cypress/Juniper-based cards.
Under load, however, it’s painfully obvious that the highest consumers of power are GF100-derived boards. AMD’s Radeon HD 5830 interestingly comes in third, followed by Nvidia’s first GF104-based card, the GeForce GTX 460 1 GB. The 768 MB version of the card uses 18W less under load. And of course, AMD’s Juniper-based Radeon HD 5770 is quite power-friendly.
Not surprisingly, there’s a relationship between power consumption and maximum temperature. Somewhere in there, also, is a maximum tolerable fan speed that each company can use to keep temps down.
The really surprising thing here is that, even though the GF104-based cards aren’t the lowest-power in our review, they operate at the coolest temperatures and do so using remarkably-quiet fans. In fact, there wasn’t much difference between the acoustics at idle and under load. AMD’s Radeon HD 5770 is comparable in that way; however, its load temp is notably higher.
Compare the GF104-based cards to the GF100-based boards—the difference is fairly staggering.
- GeForce GTX 460 At 1 GB And 768 MB
- GF104: In Practice With GeForce GTX 460
- In Theory: Tessellation And Bitstreaming
- Sneak Peek At SLI
- Test Setup And Benchmarks
- Benchmark Results: 3DMark Vantage
- Benchmark Results: Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (DX9)
- Benchmark Results: Crysis (DX10)
- Benchmark Results: Aliens Vs. Predator (DX11)
- Benchmark Results: DiRT 2 (DX11)
- Benchmark Results: Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (DX11)
- Benchmark Results: Just Cause 2 (DX11)
- Power Consumption And Temperature