Power Consumption Measurement for Different Applications
We measure the power consumption of these graphic cards as described in The Math Behind GPU Power Consumption And PSUs. It's the only way we can achieve readings that facilitate sound conclusions about efficiency. Once again, we’re using picture galleries to provide a detailed breakdown of the results across all the rails and connectors for those interested.
When you look at the tables, bear in mind that the overall results for all rails is not calculated by adding the numbers in the column above them. The maximum or minimum figures do not always occur at the same time on all rails. So, the overall results represent how high the power draw was across all rails at the same time.
Idle and 2D Desktop
Power consumption comes in at 10W, which is certainly good. However, based on observing the individual rails, it’s also clear to see that there are many load fluctuations. The 10W result is really just the average of a lot of ups and downs.
|Graphics Card Total||5.12W||38.33W||10.35W|
Aside from stress testing (and depending on the game, of course), this is where we see the highest power consumption. A measured average of 233W is a little higher than the GeForce GTX Titan X’s 224W. This doesn’t really come as a surprise though, since Nvidia's GeForce GTX 980 Ti boosts its core clock rate a bit higher than the Titan X after it warms up and reaches its temperature target.
|Graphics Card Total||66.08W||428.38W||233.48W|
The GeForce GTX 980 Ti’s TDP is 250W, according to Nvidia. But it never reaches that number under normal conditions, except in certain professional applications. None of the usual stress tests manage to push it past the 254W mark. Taking the 233W gaming power consumption into consideration, 19 to 22W of headroom remain for overclocking. These are just idle musings for a reference-class GeForce GTX 980 Ti, though, since it runs into a thermal limit anyway. There’d be a bit more headroom with a higher-capacity cooling solution, even if this one is optimized for Nvidia's 250W cards.
|Graphics Card Total||65.24W||296.84W||254.22W|
Nvidia should be commended once again for doing a great job limiting its new card’s power consumption via the motherboard’s PCIe slot to under 75W. Load spikes, which we often see even from mainstream graphics cards, are practically nonexistent. Dynamic power distribution across the rails functions perfectly and without a hitch.
Power Consumption Overview and Comparison to Other Graphics Cards
Here’s a lengthy comparison of where the GeForce GTX 980 Ti stands compared to its competition.