Nvidia GeForce GTX 590 3 GB Review: Firing Back With 1024 CUDA Cores

Power In SLI/CrossFire And Watts Per Frame

One chart that was missing from the Radeon HD 6990 story, and subsequently requested, was a power consumption chart comparing the dual-Cayman board to CrossFire’d and SLI’d configurations. “Fair enough,” I thought. “We’re telling folks to skip the 6990 entirely and buy 6970s or GTX 570s—it’s reasonable to want to know how those setups size up with regards to power use.” So, here’s that graph:

In addition to the 6990, 6970s, and 570s, I’ve also added the 590 and a pair of 580s in SLI.

Clearly, two GeForce GTX 580s ratchet up power use in a way that no other setup comes close to rivaling. The other solutions are much more evenly matched, though.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Average Power Consumption (Metro 2033, Three Runs)
Nvidia GeForce GTX 590437.27 W
Nvidia GeForce GTX 580 SLI559.85 W
Nvidia GeForce GTX 570 SLI420.35 W
AMD Radeon HD 6990402.30 W
AMD Radeon HD 6970 CrossFire442.18 W

On average, the GTX 580s impose a 559 W system power figure running Metro 2033. Two Radeon HD 6970s in CrossFire are the next most power-hungry, averaging 442 W system power. The GeForce GTX 590-based system is just five watts behind, while two GTX 570s turn in an average power figure of 420 W. AMD’s Radeon HD 6990 (running at its stock clocks) winds up being the most power-friendly option, registering 402 W average system power.

Here’s the average frame rate each configuration achieved while we logged those power numbers.

A couple of folks looking to deflect criticism of the 6990’s value asked for a chart depicting watts per frame. There you go, gentlemen. The Radeon HD 6990 uses less power per frame per second than two Radeon HD 6970s, and both AMD-based configurations consume less system power per frame than all three Nvidia-based setups. Now, flip back to the previous page, replay the 6990 video, and think about all of the conversations you can enjoy not hearing!

Chris Angelini
Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.
  • nforce4max
    Nvidia like ATI should have gone full copper for their coolers instead of using aluminum for the fins. :/
  • The_King
    The clock speeds are a bit of a disappointment as well the high power draw and the performance is not that better than a 6990. Bleh !
  • stryk55
    Very comprehensive article! Nice job!
  • LegendaryFrog
    I'm impressed, good to see Nvida has started to care about the "livable experience" of their high end products.
  • plznote
    Great card. But low clocks.
    GREAT for overclocking!
  • darkchazz
    Wow @ low noise
  • rolli59
    Draw! Win some loose some. What is the fastest card? Some will say GTX590 others HD6990 and they are both right.
  • Scoregie
    MMMM... HD 6990.... OR GTX 590... HMMM I'll go with a HD 5770 CF setup because im cheap.
  • Sabiancym
    You can't say Nvidia wins based on the sound level of the cards. That's just flat out favoritism.

    I'll be buying a 6990 and water cooling it. Nothing will beat it.
  • Darkerson
    rolli59Draw! Win some loose some. What is the fastest card? Some will say GTX590 others HD6990 and they are both right.Thats more or less how I feel. They both trade blows depending on the game.