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Mainstream Graphics Card Roundup

Power Consumption, Noise Levels, And Temperature Readings

Power consumption is measured in watts for the whole test platform. The 2D idle value comes from the normal Windows user interface without any load and with Windows Vista Aero turned off (minimal value). The 3D value is measured when the CPU and graphics card run under heavy load (peak value). Measurements took place at the wall socket. PSU efficiency averaged around 82.4% (according to manufacturer measurements).

Power Consumption2D Watts3D WattsPower Adapters
GeForce GTX 285 (1,024 MB)1503482 x 6 pin PCIe
GeForce GTX 280 (1,024 MB)1553471 x 6 + 1 x 8 pin PCIe
GeForce GTX 275 (896 MB)1563512 x 6 pin PCIe
Zotac GeForce GTX 260² (GeForce GTX 260 216SPs 896 MB)1502952 x 6 pin PCIe
GeForce GTX 260 (896 MB)1502952 x 6 pin PCIe
GeForce GTX 260 (896 MB)1543302 x 6 pin PCIe
Zotac GTS 250 1 GB (1,024 MB)1562651 x 8 pin PCIe
GeForce GTS 250 (1,024 MB)1562651 x 8 pin PCIe
GeForce 9800 GX2 (2 x 512 MB)2153811 x 6 + 1 x 8 pin PCIe
GeForce 9800 GTX (512 MB)1702782 x 6 pin PCIe
GeForce 9600 GT (1,024 MB)1451951 x 6 pin PCIe
Asus GeForce 9600 GT (512 MB)1462061 x 6 pin PCIe
GeForce 8800 GTS (512 MB)1712821 x 6 pin PCIe
GeForce 8800 GT (1,024 MB)1482101 x 6 pin PCIe
GeForce 8800 GT (512 MB)1602541 x 6 pin PCIe
GeForce 8800 Ultra (768 MB)2033282 x 6 pin PCIe
GeForce 8800 GTX (768 MB)1862982 x 6 pin PCIe
GeForce 8800 GTS (640 MB)1782611 x 6 pin PCIe
GeForce 8800 GTS (320 MB)1702481 x 6 pin PCIe
Radeon HD 4890 (1,024 MB)1823122 x 6 pin PCIe
Radeon HD 4870 X2 (2 x 1,024 MB)2344651 x 6 + 1 x 8 pin PCIe
HIS H487QT1GP ICEQ4+ (Radeon HD 4870 1,024 MB)1962982 x 6 pin PCIe
Sapphire Vapor-X HD 4870 2 GB (Radeon HD 4870 2,048 MB)1892932 x 6 pin PCIe
Radeon HD 4870 (512 MB)1912882 x 6 pin PCIe
Sapphire HD 4850 1 GB (Radeon HD 4850 1,024 MB)1652571 x 6 pin PCIe
Radeon HD 4850 (512 MB)1662701 x 6 pin PCIe
Radeon HD 4770 (512 MB)1521991 x 6 pin PCIe
Radeon HD 4670 (512 MB)125178None
Radeon HD 3870 X2 (2x512 MB)1863651 x 6 + 1 x 8 pin PCIe
Radeon HD 3870 (512 MB)1392231 x 6 pin PCIe
Radeon HD 3850 (256 MB)1341971 x 6 pin PCIe
Noise Levels2D dB(A)3D dB(A)Fan Diameter
GeForce GTX 285 (1,024 MB)37.951.475 mm
GeForce GTX 280 (1,024 MB)38.045.475 mm
GeForce GTX 275 (896 MB)36.844.275 mm
Zotac GeForce GTX 260² (GTX 260 216 SPs 896 MB)37.541.275 mm
GeForce GTX 260 216 SPs (896 MB)37.541.275 mm
GeForce GTX 260 (896 MB)37.853.875 mm
Zotac GTS 250 1 GB (GTS 250 1,024 MB)39.650.275 mm
GeForce GTS 250 (1,024 MB)39.650.275 mm
GeForce 9800 GX2 (2 x 512 MB)37.953.575 mm
GeForce 9800 GTX (512 MB)37.244.870 mm
GeForce 9600 GT (1,024 MB)36.942.375 mm
GeForce 8800 GTS (512 MB)36.439.570 mm
GeForce 8800 GT (1,024 MB)36.640.875 mm
GeForce 8800 GT (512 MB)36.540.860 mm
GeForce 8800 Ultra (768 MB)37.144.673 mm
GeForce 8800 GTX (768 MB)37.540.575 mm
GeForce 8800 GTS (640 MB)37.137.475 mm
GeForce 8800 GTS (320 MB)36.237.075 mm
Radeon HD 4890 (1,024 MB)36.748.473 mm
Radeon HD 4870 X2 (2 x 1,024 MB)51.260.473 mm
HIS H487QT1GP ICEQ4+ (Radeon HD 4870 1,024 MB)36.852.180 mm
Sapphire Vapor-X HD4870 2 GB (Radeon HD 4870 2,048 MB)36.038.275 mm
Radeon HD 4870 (512 MB)38.049.473 mm
Sapphire HD 4850 1 GB (Radeon HD 4850 1,024 MB)36.750.460 mm
Radeon HD 4850 (512 MB)36.247.960 mm
Radeon HD 4770 (512 MB)36.338.570 mm
Radeon HD 4670 (512 MB)36.236.250 mm
Radeon HD 3870 X2 (2 x 512 MB)35.845.875 mm
Radeon HD 3870 (512 MB)35.938.775 mm
Radeon HD 3850 (256 MB)36.436.560 mm
Temperatures And Slot Width2D Degrees3D DegreesFan Height
GeForce GTX 285 (1,024 MB)4585Double slot
GeForce GTX 280 (1,024 MB)4586Double slot
GeForce GTX 275 (896 MB)4792Double slot
Zotac GeForce GTX 260² (GTX 260 216 SPs 896 MB)4581Double slot
GeForce GTX 260 216 SPs (896 MB)4581Double slot
  • ColMirage
    Great article! Good to see a large variery of old and new.
    Reply
  • Why do you keep on including the last remnant test when it's obvious that there is a problem with the ati cards? Therefore the overall results are biased and it's unfair to ati and to the foes who jump directly to the conclusion.

    Also when you say *quote* "DirectX 10 crashed at 8x AA and the game and screen went black. Switch to DirectX 9 instead, and the game works at 8x AA and offers frame rates up to 50% higher" *unquote* for HAWX didn't you mean "ati cards were a lot faster that nvidia ones using DirectX 10 thanks to DirectX 10.1 and that was unacceptable. Hence the switch to DirectX 9 instead, and the game works at 8x AA and offers frame rates up to 50% higher for nvidia and ati is fcked again, close one guys".

    I am not an ati fanboy but I think TH has got its tongue sticked up a juicy green @ss.
    Reply
  • cinergy
    Tino is putting again a big geforce ad. No mention of recent HUGE Radeon price cuts (eg. Radeon HD 4890 goes for $199.99 - 10$ mail rebate in newegg, and 4850 should go at 99$). And HAWX is again benchmarked without dx10.1 setting because of such crappy results for ATI. And not even a mention such technology exist in the game!
    Reply
  • NuclearShadow
    I think its highly unfair that you would put The Last Remnant in as a benchmark. The game simply hates ATI cards and if you included that game when it came to making a conclusion then I think your intentionally being biased.

    Also I'm not sure why your holding the 260 as the best choice. The Zotac one you even picture is priced at $175 at newegg while the HIS 4850 1GB is like $115 at newegg. Sure the 260 outperforms it but when you take that price difference and look at the performance the 4850 1GB is certainly attractive. The 250 1GB lowest price on newegg is $140 and Zotac's costs $154.99 and if you compared the 4850 1GB to it using your own charts you would see the major killer of the sum of fps is largely effected by The Last Remnant.

    Speaking of Zotac I noticed that for some reason whenever they are mentioned they get a major ass kissing. While they make good products its clear that there is a bias here. You even picture the Zotac 260 and even gave it the ability to be selected on your own little comparison charts and look what you get when you compare it to normal 260 216sps http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-charts-2009/compare,1173.html?prod=on&prod=on The exact same results and for some reason you deemed it necessary to list it individually as if it were special.

    Next time how about giving a real conclusion instead of a advertisement. Comparing a $115 card to a $175 and pushing Zotac down our throats makes it damn obvious what your doing.
    Reply
  • scrumworks
    Wow! Tom's just cant let nvidia go. ATI clearly has price-performance advantage now. No Last Remnant benchs are gonna change it.
    Reply
  • Summer Leigh Castle
    I'm not an expert but the article felt like Toms was trying too hard... just a "little" bias here.
    Reply
  • d0gr0ck
    That's o
    Reply
  • da bahstid
    Tino must have missed that whole thing a few months back where educated readers decided they weren't going to tolerate such ridiculously biased conclusions. There's only a $5 difference in price between the His 4870 and Zotac 260 on Newegg as I write this (nothing like Tino's claim that the Zotac has a >$35 advantage), and the performance of the two came within 0.5% of each other...DESPITE two extremely pro-NVidia slanted tests (Last Remnant and Hawx).

    I actually encourage keeping the Last Remnant test because ATI shouldn't get breaks for poor drivers (or inadequate collaboration with developers), but by that same token if NVidia loses out on lack of 10.1 support that result absolutely needs to be included. TH was actually starting to look credible again, it must have taken you guys months of seriously attentive work and comprehensive benchmarking to regain that...what in the world are you guys thinking starting up this tripe again?
    Reply
  • Ramar
    I agree, the last remnant is stupid. Everyone with an ATI card knows they probably can't play it. Funny, considering it was developed for a console with an ATI chip.

    Let's do some simple math here to prove if ATI really has the price to performance advantage.

    I'll use far cry 2 because I think it's a very fair description of DirectX10 power, "WIMTBP" be damned.

    Top range, GTX 295 vs 4870X2, there's a performance difference on par with their respective prices, especially in the highest res and AA/AF setting.

    Higher-mid, 4890 vs GTX 275. Again, the performance percentage is very close to the twenty dollar difference between cards, and exceeded in nvidia's side at the highest res.

    High-mid, 4870 vs GTX 260 216, even on Left 4 Dead, a source engine game favoring ati, the 260 comes out on par. This is a tie, really. But don't kid yourself into thinking the 4850 is any kind of match for the 260.

    Mid-range, 4850 vs...well, if you take a GTS 250, they're very evenly matched. If you REALLY want a 9800GT for the same price, well, sucks to have an IQ of 50.

    Also factor in the growing use of Physx and ATI doesn't make a very compelling argument. Prices are matched frustratingly well and the only real "killer deal" is a 4850x2 for slightly over $200.

    Know that I like ATI and I'm not saying they're bad cards, I'm just saying they're only on par with Nvidia's offerings, not above them.

    Just remember that DirectX11 will be in full swing in around six months and none of this will matter anyway.
    Reply
  • d0gr0ck
    I don't know what you did to get those TLR benches on the ATI cards. On a single HD 4870 (512MB reference style) card I easily got the playable 60fps at 1680x1050 at high settings + medium shadows. Once I upgraded to crossfire the framerate blows past 60fps on all high settings. Slowdown only occurs when the game effects churn out an inordinate amount of lighting/shadow effects. I use an old X38/E8500 combo to game on, so by all means you should be getting better results than I do.
    Reply