Power, Temperature, And Noise Benchmarks
The power usage numbers don't present any particular surprises, although we would have expected lower idle power from the new Radeon HD 6800-series cards. The Fermi-based GeForces are known to be power-hungry, and the results are no surprise. Note that the Radeon HD 5830 reference card we have on hand uses a Radeon HD 5870 PCB; this may account for the relatively high power usage.
GPU temperatures are fairly close across these products. Keep in mind that the GeForce cards we test here do not use the reference coolers.
The Radeon HD 6870 generates more noise than we would have expected, but the non-reference GeForce GTX 470 manages to out-do it. The rest of these cards were a pleasure to live with under load.