The US Tom’s Hardware graphics lab continues utilizing 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 2080 Super gets all of its power from the PCIe slot, one eight-pin auxiliary connector, and one six-pin connector. We have a third set of eight-pin power connectors wired into the Powenetics system for even higher-end configurations, should they be needed.
GeForce RTX 2080 Super uses more power at idle than GeForce RTX 2070 Super, which uses more power at idle than GeForce RTX 2060 Super. The jump is slight each step of the way though, and we’re only looking at 11.25W attached to a single QHD display.
Nvidia bumps GeForce RTX 2080 Super’s board power rating up to 250W, up from the 2080 Founders Edition’s 225W. And according to our measurements, the 2080 Super adheres to its limit really well, averaging 247.8W across three runs of the Metro benchmark loop. Peak readings as high as 265W aren’t really a concern.
Most of the 2080 Super’s power comes from its eight-pin connector, followed by the six-pin connector. On average, 57W is measured across the PCI Express slot’s +12V rail, while the +3.3V rail isn’t used much at all.
The GeForce RTX 2080 and 2070 Super demonstrate similar power consumption tendencies, while GeForce RTX 2080 Super uses almost all the additional headroom that Nvidia gave it. As a point of comparison, AMD’s Radeon VII (in red) is a much hungrier card, regularly exceeding 300W.
Increased power needs cause higher current draw than what we saw from GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition. But the 2080 Super never exceeds 5.1A over its PCIe slot. It actually spends most of its time under 5A and averages 4.75A, falling well short of the PCI-SIG’s 5.5A ceiling.
The demands of FurMark push average power consumption to 254W, which is just over Nvidia’s rating. Peak power doesn’t change much, though we do see each rail’s reading increase slightly.
A much more consistent load results in a less frenetic line chart compared to what we observed under Metro.
Again, GeForce RTX 2070 Super and 2080 Founders Edition demonstrate quite a bit of overlap, while GeForce RTX 2080 Super spends most of its time on or slightly above the 250W mark. Radeon VII is the clear outlier, averaging more than 320W through 15 minutes of FurMark testing.
Despite overall higher power consumption under FurMark, fewer spikes translate into less variation between readings. GeForce RTX 2080 Super only exceeds 5.1A once. Otherwise, it averages 4.9A.
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