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Calculating Power Consumption Of The Entire System

How Much Power Does Your Graphics Card Need?
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In this table, you’ll find a small set of standard components that you can use as a general guideline for power consumption estimates. Standard CPUs use between 65 and 85 watts, while quad-core processors range from 95 to 140 watts.

Hard drives may vary greatly according to age and model; you can get by with 10 watts as an estimate, because drives rarely run simultaneously at full load. The maximum needed is 30 watts for a short time when booting the system; you should allow a safety buffer for this when estimating maximum power load capacity.

The chipset of a motherboard can be crucial, since integrated components such as sound, network, and additional controllers must be supplied with power. While Intel gets by with 20 to 30 watts overall, a larger SLI motherboard with an nForce chipset can easily require twice as much.

Component
Power Consumption (Watts)
CPU Intel Pentium 4 (Prescott) 3.2 GHz
84
CPU Intel C2D E2140-2220
65
CPU Intel C2D E6750
65
CPU Intel C2Q Q6600
95 or 105
CPU Intel C2D E7200-7300
65
CPU Intel C2D E8200-8600
65
CPU Intel C2Q Q9300-9650
95
CPU Intel Core i7 920
85
CPU Intel Core i7 940
92
CPU Intel Core i7 965 Extreme
100
CPU AMD Athlon 64 3800+ EE
62
CPU AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ EE
65
CPU AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+
89
CPU AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+
125
CPU AMD Phenom X3
95
CPU AMD Phenom X4 9100e-9350e
65
CPU AMD Phenom X4 9500-9750
95
CPU AMD Phenom X4 9750-9850 Black
125
CPU AMD Phenom X4 9950 Black
140
Hard Drive 2.5"
2 to 6
Hard Drive 3.5"
10 to 30
DVD Drive
5 to 12
Mainboard
20 to 60
1 Memory Module
3


For a standard PC, having a powerful graphics card can easily account for 50% of the total power consumption. The values in the examples are measured liberally: the graphics card test system used has a dual-core CPU (65 nm), X38 chipset, two hard drives, and two memory modules, at 85 watts.

Example For  A Standard PC Without Graphics Card
Power Consumption
Dual-Core CPU
65
Motherboard, Intel Chipset
20
2 Memory Modules
6
2 Hard Drives
20
Drive + Burner
20
Total Power
131
Example For A Power PC Without Graphics Card
Power Consumption
Overclocked Quad-Core CPU
130
Motherboard, Nvidia Chipset
60
4 Memory Modules
12
4 Hard Drives
40
Driver + Burner
20
Total Power
262
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