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. Nvidia's GeForce RTX 2070 Founders Edition gets all of its power from the PCIe slot and one eight-pin PCIe connector.
An average idle power measurement of 11.5W is a big improvement over the numbers we saw from GeForce RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti.
But Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2070 Founders Edition still uses quite a bit more power than the GTX 1080 Founders Edition before it. The Turing architecture is vindicated only by Radeon RX Vega 64’s frenetic power curve, which bounces all over the place.
Our usual Metro: Last Light run at 1920x1080 isn’t taxing enough to push GeForce RTX 2070 to maximum utilization, so we increase the resolution to 2560x1440 and enable SSAA. Three loops through the benchmark are clearly delineated by power dips between them.
Most of GeForce RTX 2070 Founders Edition’s power comes from its eight-pin auxiliary connector. Add in the PCIe slot and you get an average of 187.7W through our gaming workload.
AMD’s Radeon RX Vega 64 averages 277W through three runs of the Metro: Last Light benchmark, while GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition sees its power consumption pulled back before the first run ends, yielding a 162W average.
Edit, 10/16/18: For anyone wanting to see what a third-party Radeon RX Vega 64 looks like in our power consumption charts, the above graph substitutes out AMD's reference design and replaces it with a Nitro+ Radeon RX Vega 64. The throttling behavior stops thanks to Sapphire's superior thermal solution, but overall consumption rises significantly.
Nvidia has no trouble keeping current draw from the PCIe slot well under the 5.5A limit.
Maximum utilization yields a much more even line chart as we track ~10 minutes under FurMark.
Average power use rises slightly to 188.4W. Again, Nvidia does an excellent job balancing between the PCIe slot and its auxiliary power connector.
GeForce RTX 2070 maintains higher power consumption than GeForce GTX 1080, but lands way under AMD’s Radeon RX Vega 64.
Current over the PCIe slot is perfectly acceptable.
MORE: Best Graphics Cards
MORE: All Graphics Content