Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Power Consumption, Noise, And Temperature

The Fastest 3D Cards Go Head-To-Head
By

The power consumption in watts always refers to the entire test platform. The 2D value is the normal Windows interface without load or the Aero interface (minimum value). The 3D value is measured when the CPU and graphics card are running at maximum load (maximum value). For this, we used the start screen of Mass Effect (UT3 Engine) at 1920x1200 pixels without anti-aliasing. The CPU reaches a load of 100% as a result.

Examples of power consumption with other CPU classes, where the values always refer to the entire test platform. The E2160 @ 1.8 GHz is between 17 and 32 watts less. E2160 @ 2.41 GHz is between 15 and 25 watts less. E6750 @ 2.67 GHz is between 12 and 16 watts less. Q6600 @ 2.4 GHz (G0) is between 2 and 5 watts more. And Q6600 @ 3.2 GHz (G0) is between 20 and 35 watts more.

Approximate power consumption of the test system: X38 platform on the Windows desktop is 65 watts, X38 under 3D load is 90-110 watts, the 780i platform in 2D mode is 20 watts, and the 780i running 3D is between 145 and 155 watts. Since all of these measurements were made at the power connection, the actual power supply load of the measured consumption must be calculated by multiplying the watt ratings by 0.83 (the efficiency factor).

Power consumption in watts 2D (Vista Desktop) 3D (Mass Effect)
GeForce GTX 280 SLI (1024 MB) 203 540
GeForce GTX 280 (1024 MB) 117 352
GeForce GTX 260 SLI (896 MB) 211 610
GeForce GTX 260 (896 MB) 111 336
GeForce 9800 GX2 (2x512 MB) 173 368
GeForce 9800 GTX SLI (512 MB) 235 462
GeForce 9800 GTX (512 MB) 126 264
GeForce 9600 GT SLI (1024 MB) 182 302
GeForce 9600 GT (1024 MB) 102 187
GeForce 8800 GTS OC (512 MB) 127 277
GeForce 8800 GTS SLI (512 MB) 230 445
GeForce 8800 GTS (512 MB) 126 269
GeForce 8800 GT SLI (1024 MB) 184 326
GeForce 8800 GT (1024 MB) 103 198
GeForce 8800 GT SLI (512 MB) 203 392
GeForce 8800 GT (512 MB) 115 239
GeForce 8800 Ultra SLI (768 MB) 294 580
GeForce 8800 Ultra (768 MB) 154 313
GeForce 8800 GTX (768 MB) 146 296
GeForce 8800 GTS (640 MB) 138 256
GeForce 8800 GTS SLI (320 MB) 234 420
GeForce 8800 GTS (320 MB) 127 240
GeForce 8600 GTS (512 MB) 98 178
GeForce 8600 GTS SLI (256 MB) 164 277
GeForce 8600 GTS (256 MB) 93 172
GeForce 8600 GT SLI (256 MB) 155 253
GeForce 8600 GT (256 MB) 89 160
Radeon HD 4870 CF (512 MB) 242 460
Radeon HD 4870 (512 MB) 147 288
Radeon HD 4850 CF (512 MB) 177 367
Radeon HD 4850 (512 MB) 122 237
Radeon HD 3870 X2 (2x512 MB) 132 350
Radeon HD 3870 CF (512 MB) 124 323
Radeon HD 3870 (512 MB) 95 216
Radeon HD 3850 CF (256 MB) 111 279
Radeon HD 3850 (256 MB) 88 192
Radeon HD 3650 CF (512 MB) 112 235
Radeon HD 3650 (512 MB) 89 167

Noise level at 1 m 2D dB(A) 3D dB(A)
GeForce GTX 280 SLI (1024 MB) 39.0 48.8 - 49.4
GeForce GTX 280 (1024 MB) 37.7 54.5 - 54.7
GeForce GTX 260 SLI (896 MB) 39.6 55.1 - 56.0
GeForce GTX 260 (896 MB) 38.1 - 44.2 53.5 - 54.0
GeForce 9800 GX2 (2x512 MB) 38.4 53.6 - 54.1
GeForce 9800 GTX SLI (512 MB) 37.0 48.6 - 49.1
GeForce 9800 GTX (512 MB) 36.2 44.7 - 45.7
GeForce 9600 GT SLI (1024 MB) 37.7 46.4 - 47.0
GeForce 9600 GT (1024 MB) 36.9 42.6 - 43.3
GeForce 8800 GTS OC (512 MB) 36.2 40.3 - 40.7
GeForce 8800 GTS SLI (512 MB) 38.5 43.7 - 44.1
GeForce 8800 GTS (512 MB) 36.2 40.1 - 40.5
GeForce 8800 GT SLI (1024 MB) 37.5 43.8 - 44.1
GeForce 8800 GT (1024 MB) 36.5 40.4 - 40.9
GeForce 8800 GT SLI (512 MB) 36.2 48.4 - 51.0
GeForce 8800 GT (512 MB) 35.8 42.2 - 42.7
GeForce 8800 Ultra SLI (768 MB) 38.7 49.9 - 50.7
GeForce 8800 Ultra (768 MB) 37.0 46.5 - 48.1
GeForce 8800 GTX (768 MB) 36.8 47.8 - 48.4
GeForce 8800 GTS (640 MB) 36.9 39.7 - 40.2
GeForce 8800 GTS SLI (320 MB) 37.6 41.2 - 41.7
GeForce 8800 GTS (320 MB) 36.3 38.2 - 38.7
GeForce 8600 GTS (512 MB) 48.0 48.0
GeForce 8600 GTS SLI (256 MB) passive passive
GeForce 8600 GTS (256 MB) passive passive
GeForce 8600 GT SLI (256 MB) 42.2 42.2
GeForce 8600 GT (256 MB) 40.8 40.8
Radeon HD 4870 CF (512 MB) 41.8 - 42.4 53.7 - 54.5
Radeon HD 4870 (512 MB) 35.5 45.5 - 46.0
Radeon HD 4850 CF (512 MB) 36.3 46.0
Radeon HD 4850 (512 MB) 36.3 41.2
Radeon HD 3870 X2 (2x512 MB) 36.6 48.3 - 49.4
Radeon HD 3870 CF (512 MB) 36.4 48.2 - 48.7
Radeon HD 3870 (512 MB) 36.5 38.7 - 39.4
Radeon HD 3850 CF (256 MB) 36.9 40.2 - 40.8
Radeon HD 3850 (256 MB) 36.2 37.5
Radeon HD 3650 CF (512 MB) 41.7 41.7
Radeon HD 3650 (512 MB) 40.0 40.0

For SLI and GX2, several values are specified; these refer to the individual graphics chips (GPUs). For CrossFire, the value of the primary, hotter GPU is shown in the table.

Temperature in degrees Celsius 2D (Vista Desktop) 3D (Mass Effect)
GeForce GTX 280 SLI (1024 MB) 48 / 50 82 / 83
GeForce GTX 280 (1024 MB) 53 85
GeForce GTX 260 SLI (896 MB) 49 / 64 101 / 105
GeForce GTX 260 (896 MB) 45 - 49 105
GeForce 9800 GX2 (2x512 MB) 68 / 71 87 / 91
GeForce 9800 GTX SLI (512 MB) 62 / 62 76 / 78
GeForce 9800 GTX (512 MB) 60 75
GeForce 9600 GT SLI (1024 MB) 38 / 53 56 / 77
GeForce 9600 GT (1024 MB) 45 70
GeForce 8800 GTS OC (512 MB) 62 89
GeForce 8800 GTS SLI (512 MB) 62 / 73 85 / 90
GeForce 8800 GTS (512 MB) 60 86
GeForce 8800 GT SLI (1024 MB) 46 / 53 61 / 67
GeForce 8800 GT (1024 MB) 46 61
GeForce 8800 GT SLI (512 MB) 61 / 69 96 / 98
GeForce 8800 GT (512 MB) 63 97
GeForce 8800 Ultra SLI (768 MB) 66 / 69 86 / 91
GeForce 8800 Ultra (768 MB) 60 82
GeForce 8800 GTX (768 MB) 60 82
GeForce 8800 GTS (640 MB) 60 82
GeForce 8800 GTS SLI (320 MB) 54 / 61 84 / 85
GeForce 8800 GTS (320 MB) 53 84
GeForce 8600 GTS (512 MB) 41 57
GeForce 8600 GTS SLI (256 MB) 67 / 51 99 / 98
GeForce 8600 GTS (256 MB) 56 95
GeForce 8600 GT SLI (256 MB) 48 / 52 65 / 73
GeForce 8600 GT (256 MB) 47 65
Radeon HD 4870 CF (512 MB) 63 73
Radeon HD 4870 (512 MB) 76 83 - 85
Radeon HD 4850 CF (512 MB) 80 83 - 85
Radeon HD 4850 (512 MB) 78 83 - 85
Radeon HD 3870 X2 (2x512 MB) 58 82
Radeon HD 3870 CF (512 MB) 62 95
Radeon HD 3870 (512 MB) 53 90
Radeon HD 3850 CF (256 MB) 55 91
Radeon HD 3850 (256 MB) 49 90
Radeon HD 3650 CF (512 MB) 45 78
Radeon HD 3650 (512 MB) 39 62

React To This Article