Power Consumption Results
Measurement Methodology & Graphical Illustration
Based on reader and vendor feedback, we recently updated how we’re presenting this part of the review, adding a low-pass filter at the maximum sampling rate to minimize aliasing effects and noise.
To make understanding the graphs easier, we also increased the measurement intervals significantly and are using a new analysis software package that evaluates the points in time when brief load fluctuations occur, gauging their plausibility. The resulting curves are a lot smoother than the old ones; we hope you derive more value from them as a result.
Power consumption is measured according to the processes outlined in The Math Behind GPU Power Consumption And PSUs.
You'll find a larger number of bar graphs and higher-resolution versions of our power consumption charts that you can expand by clicking on them. Finally, in addition to measuring power consumption, we also take current readings to determine whether our subject adheres to the applicable technical specifications.
Our test equipment hasn't changed from previous articles, though.
|Test Method||Contact-free DC Measurement at PCIe Slot (Using a Riser Card) Contact-free DC Measurement at External Auxiliary Power Supply Cable Direct Voltage Measurement at Power Supply|
|Test Equipment||2 x Rohde & Schwarz HMO 3054, 500 MHz Digital Multi-Channel Oscilloscope with Storage Function 4 x Rohde & Schwarz HZO50 Current Probe (1mA to 30A, 100 kHz, DC) 4 x Rohde & Schwarz HZ355 (10:1 Probes, 500 MHz) 1 x Rohde & Schwarz HMC 8012 Digital Multimeter with Storage Function 1 x Optris PI640 80 Hz Infrared Camera + PI Connect|
Power Consumption at Different Loads
You'll notice that we added the average gaming power consumption at different resolutions, which is a different way of looking at things. It’s based on a 170-second and highly varied Metro: Last Light scene (High preset, Tessellation set to Normal, SSAO Off). We'll discuss it in more detail when we get to the efficiency-oriented tests.
For now, the gray bar represents the peak power consumption based on those load peaks that made it through to the smoother curve, in spite of our best efforts (which we described above). Fundamentally, that bar doesn't have any practical significance, since the duration of those peaks is too brief for them to matter.
Power Connector Load Distribution
Now we're getting into the nitty gritty. Measurements across the different rails during our taxing gaming and stress tests show that Nvidia manages to distribute the load well with a bias to the six-pin power connector. The 3.3V rail isn't used anymore, which is why you won't find it in our charts.
Here are the detailed graphs. Clicking on them brings up the high-resolution versions.
The PCI-SIG’s technical specifications cover current exclusively, so that’s what’s shown in the chart below (power consumption only tells half of the story, after all). With less than 5A for the motherboard slot, Nvidia plays it safe with its GeForce GTX 1060. The maximum, according to the PCI-SIG, is 5.5A.
We have detailed graphs for the current measurements as well. Once again, clicking on them brings up the high-resolution versions.
Power Consumption Comparison with Other Graphics Cards
Now we can look at how Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1060 stacks up against the competition. We’re using the peak power consumption results, since they're comparable to the results obtained with our older testing methodology.
The GeForce GTX 1060 registers slightly higher consumption than the GTX 960 in our gaming benchmark. However, its lower power target changes that situation during the stress test. No matter how you slice it, Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1060 is the fastest graphics card in its 120W segment.
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