Slowly but surely, we’re spinning up multiple Tom’s Hardware labs with Cybenetics’ Powenetics hardware/software solution for accurately measuring power consumption.
Powenetics, In Depth
For a closer look at our U.S. lab’s power consumption measurement platform, check out Powenetics: A Better Way To Measure Power Draw for CPUs, GPUs & Storage.
In brief, Powenetics utilizes Tinkerforge Master Bricks, to which Voltage/Current bricklets are attached. The bricklets are installed between the load and power supply, and they monitor consumption through each of the modified PSU’s auxiliary power connectors and through the PCIe slot by way of a PCIe riser. Custom software logs the readings, allowing us to dial in a sampling rate, pull that data into Excel, and very accurately chart everything from average power across a benchmark run to instantaneous spikes.
The software is set up to log the power consumption of graphics cards, storage devices, and CPUs. However, we’re only using the bricklets relevant to graphics card testing. Gigabyte's GeForce GTX 1650 Gaming OC 4G gets all of its power from the PCIe slot and one six-pin PCIe connector.
Idle power consumption just over 8W is impressive. Thanks for that goes to a combination of Nvidia's TU117 processor and Gigabyte's semi-passive fan mode.
Gaming: Metro: Last Light
A 77.1W average measurement is slightly higher than Nvidia’s specification for GeForce GTX 1650. The peak to just over 81W isn’t egregious, at least.
Gigabyte balances power consumption between the PCI Express x16 slot and six-pin power connector, explaining why trying to run this card without the connector attached does not work. There's even a bit of 3.3V rail utilization.
Charting power consumption across our three-run benchmark shows the narrow range we’re working with. This card is remarkably consistent, demonstrating even utilization across the test sequence and giving us no reason to believe TU117 is limited by thermals or power.
That red line is the GeForce GTX 1650 Gaming OC 4G. Although we're critical of its performance and value, there's no denying that this is an efficient graphics card well-suited to environments sensitive to power consumption.
Less than 4A of current draw on the PCIe slot is well within the PCI-SIG's limits. Again, Gigabyte takes care to balance power between the PCIe slot and auxiliary six-pin connector.
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