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Part 4: Building A Balanced Gaming PC

Power Consumption

Power Consumption

Rather than relay our typical idle and Prime95/Furmark full load data, for this series, we decided that the single most important number would be the maximum power consumption seen while gaming. The highest numbers we recorded were seen in GTA IV. But because the Radeon HD 4850 used in Parts 1 and 2 could not run this test, we instead chose to use Crysis for our power measurement.

Crysis does not load all processing cores, so power consumption figures are far different here than taxing all available thread using Prime95. Voltages really come into play, and we see the quad-core Phenom II X4 955 BE consume more power than the higher-clocked six-core Phenom II X6 1055T and Intel’s Core i7-920. While the Athlon II and Radeon HD 5750 consume the least amount of power, for the purpose of this series, it’s the Radeon HD 5870 and HD 5970 that shine brightest for their outstanding performance and relatively low consumption.

  • wildeast
    "such as NVidia’s GeForce GTX 400-series and revamp the benchmark suite with some new DirectX 11 titles."
    i'll be waiting for that, and maybe some i5 cpu to see what fit sli best
    Reply
  • jsowoc
    "We set forth to measure the perfect balance in seven different games and four resolutions in this third of many parts." (?)

    I think you copied this paragraph from part 3 and forgot to change it to 4... ;-)
    Reply
  • theshonen8899
    With the amount of love you guys have for the Athlon x3 I was really hoping to see it on here :\
    I guess I can kind of predict where it'd fall though.
    Reply
  • Darkerson
    I love the in-depth articles like these. Keep 'em coming!
    Reply
  • L0tus
    Brilliant piece.

    I wish I had read this before building my system as I can see that I clearly spent too much on my CPU instead of GPU (i5-750 + HD5770) . Would have done much better with (X2 550 BE + HD5850) !

    ...ain't hind sight a b***h!

    Also interesting to see how GPUs really start to distinguish themselves at higher resolutions. Again, brilliant work.
    Reply
  • TheStealthyOne
    I built a computer for my brother using a Phenom ii 550 paired with a 5770, and it screams! Fantastic gaming chip! It just goes to show you can achieve fantastic performance by planning and balance.
    Reply
  • garlik_bread
    Personally, i'd be interested to see results from a card with less han 1GB RAM on the GPU.

    On the lower end of the spectrum, with the lower resolutions, is the 1GB really necessary?

    Basically, i have a 512MB Asus 5770 and want to validate my purchase :D
    Reply
  • plasmastorm
    Still running a Maximus formula 775 board with a Q6600, 8gb ram and a Radeon 5850 but this is certainly handy for future reference.
    Probably skipping the i5/i7 generation as I can still play anything at max settings on my 22" monitor while running a 2nd for a film tho :)
    Reply
  • Tamz_msc
    Please test some newer games, which is essential for an article like this.
    Reply
  • descendency
    plasmastormStill running a Maximus formula 775 board with a Q6600, 8gb ram and a Radeon 5850 but this is certainly handy for future reference.Probably skipping the i5/i7 generation as I can still play anything at max settings on my 22" monitor while running a 2nd for a film tho
    i5/i7 isn't a generation. it's like 5 or so.

    It's the same thing as C2D and C2Q
    Reply