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Benchmark Results: Cinebench R11 And PowerDirector 9

Curbing Your GPU's Power Use: Is It Worthwhile?
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Desktop Usage: Cinebench R11

We've included average power consumption numbers, in addition to peak power consumption. There are some interesting things to note here. For one, we can see that the default values (clock speeds and voltage) for UVD mode are already optimal. We were only able to get away with a core voltage of 0.98 V for default UVD clocks, and the savings we see in return are very small. We also notice that lowering clocks without adjusting voltage does not translate to lower peak power consumption. Just look at the underclocked settings with the base voltage (1.175 V).

Running the card at DXVA clocks is good enough to offer some savings (between 3 to 9%) compared to the default stock clock. If you do have a graphics card with an adjustable voltage, there's a fairly good chance you can access additional savings (around 13 to 19%). Dropping memory clocks allows us to use a lower voltage and come up with even lower power consumption. At 500/1030 MHz and an operating voltage of 0.85 V, the Radeon HD 6970 we’re using is able to match the undervolted settings for the Radeon HD 5870.

H.264 GPU-Accelerated Encoding And Filters: PowerDirector 8

Keep in mind that the Radeon HD 5670 and 5770 are running at their UVD clocks. Both also feature hardware-accelerated decoding enabled. In contrast, hardware-accelerated decoding is only enabled when the Radeon HD 6970 is running at its default clocks (500/1375 MHz @ 1.0 V).

If you want an example of a best-case scenario, look at the H.264 and Bloom filter test results. The 6970 can finish the task in almost half of the time it takes AMD’s Radeon HD 5770 and 5670 to complete it.

The Radeon HD 6970 easily uses less power for the entire test, achieving nearly the same power levels as a Radeon HD 5770 and finishing in almost half of the time.

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Top Comments
  • 20 Hide
    hokkdawg , June 15, 2011 4:10 AM
    Dude, I'm now feeling a sudden urge to watch The Matrix!
Other Comments
  • 20 Hide
    hokkdawg , June 15, 2011 4:10 AM
    Dude, I'm now feeling a sudden urge to watch The Matrix!
  • 8 Hide
    Anonymous , June 15, 2011 4:27 AM
    I think, considering those people using SLi and crossfire and higher end videocards, they don't really give a gat about how much elec. they are using. They can afford to buy two expensive PCBs, why would they care about extra 5~10 bucks per month? If poeple are focused on lower power consumption, they would go for lower performance components, arent they?
  • 1 Hide
    anttonij , June 15, 2011 4:48 AM
    I guess the most important point of this review is that you can lower the cards voltage while running at stock speed. For example I'm running my GTX 460 (stock 675/1800@1.012V) at 777/2070@0.975V or if I wanted to use the stock speeds, I could lower the voltage to 0.875V. I've also lowered the fan speeds to allow the card to run almost silently even at full load.
  • 0 Hide
    Khimera2000 , June 15, 2011 4:50 AM
    @.@ there is no apple @.@

    This is neat though :)  I wonder if this article might inspire someone to make an application. Come on open source dont fail me now >.
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , June 15, 2011 4:58 AM
    Could you do comparison of "the fastest VC" vs "entry level" and then show us how much money we might end up paying each month or day?
  • 3 Hide
    the_krasno , June 15, 2011 5:39 AM
    Manufacturers should find a way to implement this automatically, imagine the possibilities!
  • 4 Hide
    wrxchris , June 15, 2011 7:52 AM
    @OvaCer

    I have 2 gfx cards pushing 3 displays, but I'm all for saving watts wherever I can. Our society has advanced to the point where sustainability is a very important buzzword that is widely ignored by mainstream media and many corporations, and this ignorance trickles down to the mainstream like Reaganomics. Minuscule reductions such as 30w savings across hundreds of thousands if not millions of users adds up to a significant reduction in carcinogenic emissions and saves valuable resources for future consumption.
  • 1 Hide
    delinius , June 15, 2011 8:06 AM
    Holy crap, I watched the Matrix again just before this topic was posted..
  • 0 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , June 15, 2011 8:40 AM
    So when playing video, you risk your amd card going into uvd mode? What models does that apply to?
    I want to know, cause for instance in a raid, I'd sometimes watch video content on another screen while waiting around for whatever there is to wait for. I already lose the crossfire performance because of window mode. I don't want to lose even more.

    Does my ancient 4870x2 support uvd?
  • 0 Hide
    jestersage , June 15, 2011 11:10 AM
    so... for the dual bios HD6900s, I can RBE one bios with my desired settings and just choose which bios to use before I power up my PC? hmmm... interesting.
  • 3 Hide
    brendonmc , June 15, 2011 12:05 PM
    Pretty pointless article which concludes the obvious.
  • 3 Hide
    tommysch , June 15, 2011 12:37 PM
    This is like trying to save gas with a Ferrari.
  • 0 Hide
    feeddagoat , June 15, 2011 1:22 PM
    tommyschThis is like trying to save gas with a Ferrari.


    With proper engine mapping, good throttle control, weight reduction from materials used, loosing carpets, spare tyre, radio etc. and the aerodynamic design of a Ferrari it isn't as stupid as you think.
  • 0 Hide
    chesteracorgi , June 15, 2011 1:34 PM
    Interesting. When I have time I will try lowering the voltage while maintaining the OC and see what happens.
  • 3 Hide
    JackNaylorPE , June 15, 2011 1:34 PM
    OvaCerI think, considering those people using SLi and crossfire and higher end videocards, they don't really give a gat about how much elec. they are using. They can afford to buy two expensive PCBs, why would they care about extra 5~10 bucks per month?


    At a full 8 hours per day, every day per month, you're talking $2.40 or basically the cost of one 12 oz. latte at Starbucks.
  • 0 Hide
    Lrxst , June 15, 2011 1:46 PM
    This should all happen automatically with a number of parameters set by the user, like motherboards. To me, fan noise is the biggest enemy, and a small power savings takes back seat. One of the downsides I see is if some manufacturers used a new power saving architecture as an means to take shortcuts in cooling their cards properly at full throttle.
  • 0 Hide
    nukemaster , June 15, 2011 2:04 PM
    I undervolt most of my cpus anyway
  • 0 Hide
    RazberyBandit , June 15, 2011 2:53 PM
    Here I thought that my two 4000-series systems (4850 and 4890), which do not reduce memory frequency in either 2D or UVD mode, were truly behind the times. It appears even 6000-series cards don't do it while in UVD mode. That alone is something which could be enabled by AMD and it's board partners on all new cards by default. But, seeing as the default memory speed provides the best benchmark numbers, that's likely the reason why it's not done.

    I typically use CCC's Overdrive to manually reduce memory speed while in 2D-mode, which works fine. Despite having been manually set, whenever it senses UVD playback (be it Flash, DivX, etc.) the memory frequency changes to it's default speed (1000MHz on the 4850, 975 on the 4890). Now I know why - once UVD mode is active, it's clocks reign supreme. It seems the only way to change that is to mod the BIOS.

    When it comes to general users, the end result of all this tweaking seems to unfortunately only save rather minuscule amounts of power.
  • 0 Hide
    tommysch , June 15, 2011 3:48 PM
    feeddagoatWith proper engine mapping, good throttle control, weight reduction from materials used, loosing carpets, spare tyre, radio etc. and the aerodynamic design of a Ferrari it isn't as stupid as you think.


    Those are performance modifications, less gas consumption might be a side effect but it is not the goal.

    The 599 is stupid, the 430 is godly.
  • 0 Hide
    gm0n3y , June 15, 2011 4:50 PM
    Or just save the hassle and buy a more efficient power supply. That has to be the easiest and best way to use less electricity.
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