Power Consumption And Noise
Subjected to a heavy workload, all of our tested boards draw less than 50 W. At such modest power levels, even low-profile cards are easy to cool. Idle power consumption of 10 W or less is almost negligible when you consider the target market for these products. Nvidia's Quadro cards stand out as particularly power-friendly. Under load, power consumption roughly corresponds to performance. AMD's FirePro V3900 is the fastest offering, but it also uses the most power.
In this story, we're measuring acoustics from a distance of 20” (50 cm) perpendicular to the installed cards. Although these small boards are rated at low TDPs and to not dissipate a lot of heat, their small cooling fans become quite audible, even under a modest workload. The sound levels of the FirePro V3900 and the Quadro 600 are almost identical, both at idle and at full load. However, the inexpensive consumer-grade GeForce cards have more aggressive fan speed profiles, resulting in higher noise levels.