Power Consumption And Cooling Performance
The table below shows the quick and dirty summary of our measurements:
|Browser-Based Games||115 to 135W|
|Gaming (Metro Last Light, 4K)||216W|
The following chart details power consumption during our Metro Last Light gaming loop:
The measured current comes almost exclusively from the external power connectors, and not the motherboard slot.
In our stress test, EVGA’s card consumes a maximum of almost 240W due to an imposed power limit. If the target is increased using the right tools, it’s possible to hit 250W. EVGA could have delivered this using one eight- and one six-pin connector as well, it just wouldn’t look very good.
Naturally, we also measured the current flow in our stress test:
This is the motherboard slot’s utilization. 100% represents 5.5A, the maximum load according to the PCI-SIG’s specification. The fact that 75W is often mentioned as the ceiling, rather than 66W (5.5A * 12V), has to do with the PCI-SIG including voltage fluctuations coming from ATX power supplies. At a stable 12V, the math works out to 66W.
After a long technical introduction, we finally come to what EVGA sees as the main feature of its slightly more expensive iCX model. After exercising the card on an open test bench, we plot the temperature curve using EVGA’s software.
The chart below includes what we consider to be the most important readings: the GPU, the hottest voltage regulator, and the hottest memory module (M7).
EVGA’s Precision tool also shows us the relevant sensor locations on the board, along with their readouts. Our next question is whether the results of this interesting new technology agree with real-world measurements?
We drilled holes in the three places corresponding to our temperature curves, and then cut the thermal pads where necessary for direct access to the circuit board. Measurements generated with our high-res thermal imaging camera come strikingly close to the sensor data.
Our new test setup, which you’ll read about in the days to come, allows us to collect accurate readings in a closed case. First, consider the temperature curves compiled from the sensors’ log file:
The EVGA tool reliably shows the corresponding values:
And our thermal camera proves that the numbers agree:
Remember that the memory’s thermal ceiling should be 85°C. It’s not surprising, then, that the status LED on top of the card is lit up red.
Granted, this is a worst-case scenario. In games, the memory temperatures were up to six Kelvin lower, while the GPU barely crested 70°C. You can live with this, even if it requires pushing a little more air through the cooler.