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.