NVIDIA's GeForce 7800 GTX 512 New Graphics Champion

The Truth About The 7800 GTX 512's Power Consumption

As we stated before, NVIDIA specified in its presentations and communications that this card "does not increase overall power consumption by a sizable margin."

Perhaps NVIDIA doesn't think the extra 20 W in peak consumption on a single card is sizable, but to most other people it would be. That's 20% more - surely it wouldn't say a 20% increase in performance was not "sizable"? Moving on, you can see that the minimum requirements are a 350 W power supply with at least 22 A on the 12 V line and a 500 W supply with 30 A at 12 V for a system with two cards. Let's take a look at our measurements now.

NVIDIA commented that these requirements were peak, but as you can see in the results, the overall sustained consumption increased around 6.3% while running 3D applications. Perhaps this is what the company refered to as not sizable. In this case we absolutely agree.

There is a positive in this PR runaround, though - the GeForce 7800 GTX actually does consume less power, but the savings come about only when idle and at boot time. Below, you can see that there is an average of 9.3% power savings. Let's not be silly though; consumers buying these new cards aren't the type that watch their power meters, they want higher frame rates regardless of the cost. That said, let's look at the performance figures.