Slowly but surely, we’re spinning up multiple Tom’s Hardware labs with Cybenetics’ Powenetics hardware/software solution for accurately measuring power consumption.
Powenetics, In Depth
For a closer look at our U.S. lab’s power consumption measurement platform, check out Powenetics: A Better Way To Measure Power Draw for CPUs, GPUs & Storage.
In brief, Powenetics utilizes Tinkerforge Master Bricks, to which Voltage/Current bricklets are attached. The bricklets are installed between the load and power supply, and they monitor consumption through each of the modified PSU’s auxiliary power connectors and through the PCIe slot by way of a PCIe riser. Custom software logs the readings, allowing us to dial in a sampling rate, pull that data into Excel, and very accurately chart everything from average power across a benchmark run to instantaneous spikes.
The software is set up to log the power consumption of graphics cards, storage devices, and CPUs. However, we’re only using the bricklets relevant to graphics card testing. Zotac's Gaming GeForce RTX 2080 AMP gets all of its power from the PCIe slot, one eight-pin PCIe connector, and a six-pin PCIe connector. Should higher-end 2080 Ti boards need three auxiliary power connectors, we can support that, too.
An average idle power measurement of 13.3W is a big improvement from the 17.4W we recorded from Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition card, and it’s close to the idle consumption of GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition. This result is reportedly attributable to improvements made in Nvidia’s newest driver build.
Even using Very High quality settings, Metro: Last Light at 1920x1080 does not fully utilize a TU104 processor. As a result, power consumption spikes and dips wildly through three runs of our benchmark sequence, averaging just under 200W but spiking as high as 240W. Most of that comes from the eight-pin auxiliary connector, while the PCIe slot and six-pin connector evenly divide the balance.
Maximum utilization yields a much more even line chart as we track more than 10 minutes under FurMark. Now, average power crests 230W with peaks as high as 240W. Igor observed this in our Founders Edition review, but we’ll reiterate: Nvidia does an excellent job balancing between the PCIe slot and its two auxiliary power connectors.
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