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System Builder Marathon: $2,500 Enthusiast PC

Power Consumption

Power consumption testing is new to our SBM, so this month’s overclocked $2,500 PC can only be compared to its stock settings.

While we didn’t record the former build’s power consumption, we did notice the reading because it was connected to a global power meter during tests. The overclocked $4,500 PC consumed approximately 800 W at full GPU and CPU load. It certainly would have been interesting to compare its idle power as well, but at least we can see how much of an impact overclocking our current PC has on the power grid. Our CPU is rated to consume no more than 130 W under full load, so an increase of around 170 W at full load means that our overclock more than doubled peak CPU power consumption.

Environmentalists would love to point out how this energy could be used more effectively to do nearly anything else, but the overclock isn’t causing the full amount of energy loss all the time. Since most PCs spend most of the day at or near idle, the idle power difference is probably most important.

The problem for anyone seeking excuses is that even at idle, the overclocked PC pulled 58 W more than at stock speed. It might only be enough power to light a 60 W incandescent bulb, but it’s also enough power to light four fluorescent bulbs of the same luminosity, a mid-performance notebook, or even a complete low-power PC.

  • tipmen
    First
    LG GGC-H20LK 6X Blu-Ray/HD DVD-ROM, 16X DVD±RW for $23??? you mean 223?
    Reply
  • douglesso
    Thanks for the fantastic information and detailed analysis. I just ordered the same motherboard and video card last week for my new build. Glad to see that holding out for the i7 was a worthwhile wait.
    Reply
  • tipmen
    Sorry couldn't read my comment but nice blbuild by the way nice to see this. Hlaf the price and more performance.
    Reply
  • Ph0X
    This is... really.. Wow.
    I'm not big in hardware, but this is just, WOW...

    There's 3SLI GTX260, 3 x 1TB, Bluray WRITER!, but it doesn't even have 6gb ram!!?

    That's just lame. Imo maybe get raptors / SSD instead? Also, Instead of 3SLI, just get a 4870x2. You will maybe get 2-3FPS less, but instead get 6gb ram and i7 940, and I'm pretty sure that will also boost your fps.

    Again, I'm not a hardware pro, but I'm pretty sure my thing would be way better.
    Reply
  • Total price is off. Should be something like 2,447 and not 2,247
    Reply
  • kelfen
    Ph0XThis is... really.. Wow.I'm not big in hardware, but this is just, WOW...There's 3SLI GTX260, 3 x 1TB, Bluray WRITER!, but it doesn't even have 6gb ram!!?That's just lame. Imo maybe get raptors / SSD instead? Also, Instead of 3SLI, just get a 4870x2. You will maybe get 2-3FPS less, but instead get 6gb ram and i7 940, and I'm pretty sure that will also boost your fps.Again, I'm not a hardware pro, but I'm pretty sure my thing would be way better.+1
    Reply
  • kelfen
    except the cpu is fine because of oc
    Reply
  • kelfen
    antec twelve hundred
    Reply
  • dieseldre2k
    appreciate the article but i would drop the third HD (keep the other 2 in RAID) and use the extra money to get 6 gigs of ram instead. i'd also be wary of the scaling on 3 video cards but i dont know enough about that, plus i'm sure u guys were trying to use up all $2,500.
    Reply
  • thomasxstewart
    Lastly, GTX 295 in 3 way sli should hit 38,000 in 3D Vantage. Thats ALL Folks.


    Signed:PHYSICIAN THOMAS STEWART von DRASHEK M.D.
    Reply