Power Consumption And Temperature
Power consumption is most definitely an issue to consider when it comes to the GeForce GTX 480—416W of total system draw under load is significant compared to the Radeon HD 5870’s 295W. The GeForce GTX 470 isn’t in as bad of shape, though the fact that it’s slower than the 5870 and more power-hungry is at least worth pointing out.
Once you get down to the GeForce GTX 465, though, total power use is a little more reasonable. Two hundred eighty three watts is a big number, but the Radeon HD 5830 it goes up against is only 10W behind. Consider power consumption on this card a non-issue for us. We're satisfied with its draw, the temperatures it generates under load, and the minimal noise it creates in the process.
What about heat? The GeForce GTX 465 idles at about the same temperature as all of the other cards (with the exception of the Radeon HD 5870; our sample dropped way down there).
Under load, there’s no doubt it gets warmer than even AMD’s fastest single-GPU. But it’s a fair bit cooler than the flagship GeForce GTX 480. And even more notably, the card requires far less fan speed to maintain that temperature, while the GTX 480 must blow much harder to stay around 91 degrees.
Of course, we addressed the resulting noise of these cards’ fans in our GeForce GTX 480 Update: 3-Way SLI, 3D Vision, And Noise.