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Performance Per Watt

Tom's Graphics Card Guide: 32 Mid-Range Cards Benchmarked


Now that we know which card is the fastest and which offers the best value for the money, it is time to see which model is most efficient. Graphics cards with requirements of up to 300 W are pretty blatant power hogs, and they can lead to increased electricity bills if they’re used a lot. A good graphics card should not only be available to buy, but also to run over time as well.

The results mirror those of the power consumption test. The GeForce start as the most economical at idle, but quickly become the least attractive under load. AMD's top Radeon cards, on the other hand, are more efficient under load conditions. Here, the most efficient card in the field is the MSI Radeon HD 6870 Twin Frozr II, which delivers the best gaming experience per watt, followed by the MSI 6850 Cyclone and the rest of the Radeon HD 6850 and HD 6870 cards.

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