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Mobility Radeon Vs. GeForce M: The CrossFire Advantage

Power And Battery Life

One of the big advantages Eurocom cites for the Mobility Radeon HD 5870 CrossFire configuration is its 55 W TDP per card, compared to 100 W TDP for a single GeForce GTX 480M. The idea is that you can get a performance gain greater than 10% from a power gain of less than 10%, while simultaneously improving thermal characteristics by spreading the heat across multiple die.

Yet we’re fairly certain that those TDP numbers are for the GPU, not the entire card, and that AMD and Nvidia use different methods to determine TDP. Rather than dwell on rated specs, a closer look at actual power consumption is needed.

The single GeForce GTX 480M configuration falls between the single- and dual-Mobility Radeon configurations in power consumption. That means the CrossFire configuration uses far more than 10% additional power compared to the single GTX 480M. That power is converted to heat, so Eurocom’s decision to forgo an SLI configuration appears wise.

The GeForce GTX 480M does have lower idle power, which makes it a slightly better choice for non-gaming on-the-go tasks like checking email.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.