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GPU vs. CPU Upgrade: Extensive Tests

Overall Energy Consumption and Energy Saving

These power consumption levels are calculated using all of the results and combinations in the test; the individual values have been added together. These values only show the tendency of the relevant component: the actual power consumption of the graphics card varies according to CPU, and in turn, the power consumption of the CPU varies depending on the graphics card.

If you wish to save power, you can switch from the Geforce 7 to the Geforce 9600 GT—this provides much more performance and only puts minimal extra load on the power supply. The Geforce 8800 GTS 512 OC is a little more efficient in 2D mode than the new Geforce 9800 GTX, but they are almost identical in 3D mode.

Power consumption GPUfor all combinations2D watts(Vista Desktop)3D watts(BlackSite)
8800 GTS OC (512 MB)7881554
9800 GTX (512 MB)8131534
8800 GT OC (512 MB)7231377
9600 GT OC (1024 MB)6371083
6800 GT (256 MB)7071045
7950 GT (512 MB)600995

The overclocking of the Q6600 can be seen clearly from the power consumption figures. The consumption of the E2160 barely increases, although the clocking has been raised by 33%.

Power consumption CPUfor all combinations2D watts(Vista Desktop)3D watts(BlackSite)
Q6600@3.28531506
Q6600@2.47491327
X6800EE@2.947321298
E6750@2.676581204
E2160@2.416451149
E2160@1.86311104
  • DjEaZy
    will there be a AMD/ATI roundup???
    Reply
  • randomizer
    That would simply consume more time without really proving much. I think sticking with a single manufacturer is fine, because you see the generation differences of cards and the performance gains compared to geting a new processor. You will see the same thing with ATI cards. Pop in an X800 and watch it crumble in the wake of a HD3870. There is no need to inlude ATI cards for the sake of this article.
    Reply
  • randomizer
    This has been a long needed article IMO. Now we can post links instead of coming up with simple explanations :D
    Reply
  • yadge
    I didn't realize the new gpus were actually that powerful. According to Toms charts, there is no gpu that can give me double the performance over my x1950 pro. But here, the 9600gt was getting 3 times the frames as the 7950gt(which is better than mine) on Call of Duty 4.

    Maybe there's something wrong with the charts. I don't know. But this makes me even more excited for when I upgrade in the near future.
    Reply
  • This article is biased from the beginning by using a reference graphics card from 2004 (6800GT) to a reference CPU from 2007 (E2140).

    Go back and use a Pentium 4 Prescott (2004) and then the basis of these percentage values on page 3 will actually mean something.
    Reply
  • randomizer
    yadgeI didn't realize the new gpus were actually that powerful. According to Toms charts, there is no gpu that can give me double the performance over my x1950 pro. But here, the 9600gt was getting 3 times the frames as the 7950gt(which is better than mine) on Call of Duty 4. Maybe there's something wrong with the charts. I don't know. But this makes me even more excited for when I upgrade in the near future.I upgraded my X1950 pro to a 9600GT. It was a fantastic upgrade.
    Reply
  • wh3resmycar
    scyThis article is biased from the beginning by using a reference graphics card from 2004 (6800GT) to a reference CPU from 2007 (E2140).
    maybe it is. but its relevant especially with those people who are stuck with those prescotts/6800gt. this article reveals an upgrade path nonetheless
    Reply
  • randomizer
    If they had used P4s there would be o many variables in this article that there would be no direction and that would make it pointless.
    Reply
  • JAYDEEJOHN
    Great article!!! It clears up many things. It finally shows proof that the best upgrade a gamer can make is a newer card. About the P4's, just take the clock rate and cut it in half, then compare (ok add 10%) heheh
    Reply
  • justjc
    I know randomizer thinks we would get the same results, but would it be possible to see just a small article showing if the same result is true for AMD processors and ATi graphics.
    Firstly we know that ATi and nVidia graphics doesn't calculate graphics in the same way, who knows perhaps an ATi card requiers more or less processorpower to work at full load, and if you look at Can you run it? for Crysis(only one I recall using) you will see the minimum needed AMD processor is slover than the minimum needed Core2, even in processor speed.
    So any chance of a small, or full scale, article throwing some ATi and AMD power into the mix?
    Reply