Base Configuration And Tested Video Cards
The largest power consumer is the GeForce GTX 580 from Gigabyte. We used this model to determine the maximum values and explore the upper limits. In its defense, we have to say that the idle power consumption of this card is rather moderate.
Obviously, a very powerful graphics card requires a suitable PSU. We will explore the effects of continuous operation in some extreme cases in detail a bit later.
We deliberately decided against using an onboard graphics solution, since we wanted to be able to get measurements from games, even if it meant having to use the lowest graphics settings and resolutions. We chose the Gigabyte Radeon HD 5450, a card that is sufficient to at least launch the games mentioned in our list on the previous page, and still produce very low power consumption numbers. We do not want to comment on the gaming experience, but we assume you know it wasn't very good.
Tested High End and Upper Middle Class Graphics Cards
|AMD||Radeon HD 6970Radeon HD 6950Radeon HD 6870Radeon HD 6850Radeon HD 5870 Radeon HD 5850|
|Nvidia||GeForce GTX 580GeForce GTX 570GeForce GTX 480GeForce GTX 470GeForce GTX 465GeForce GTX 460|
For the new Radeon HD 6950 and 6970 cards, we also used the PowerTune options (+/- 20%) in order to determine whether and to what extent this feature has any effect on daily use.