Power Draw: Gaming, Web Browsing, And Idle
Measuring the Power Draw
The following diagrams contain a text header, which is followed by the actual measurement curves. In that header, you'll find the average and peak power draw on all three rails, along with the sum of those averages, giving us the total average and peak power consumption.
Total peak wattage is not simply the sum of the three individual peaks, but rather the total peak wattage observed within the 120-second sample window. That makes more sense than adding the peak wattages together, since it's unlikely that all three max out at the same moment.
Power Consumption during Gaming, With and Without Overclocking
These diagrams employ a logarithmic scale. The thick red line represents average total power draw at a time resolution of six seconds.
When the card is overclocked from 1080 to 1150 MHz, an increase of 6.5 percent, graphics performance increases by approximately four percent. The power draw increases by a mere five percent, showing that Power Tune does a good job. Unfortunately, in order to increase this card's GPU voltage, you have to register with MSI for a special license. This isn't given out freely; only professional overclockers can get their hands on it.
Power Draw During Internet Surfing
People don’t spend all of their time gaming; typically, much more is spent browsing the Web. We simulate this workload with a static version of our home page, scrolling all the way down and back up again. While scrolling does make use of hardware acceleration, the power draw for that is quite benign.
Power Draw at Idle
Many people leave their PCs on all the time, making the power consumption of components at idle quite important. Measuring draw from the wall doesn't cut it if we want to isolate the graphics card, since there's no way to reliably factor out the rest of the platform.
Our state-of-the-art test equipment shows that this graphics card only draws 14.02 W at idle, which is less than our previous generation of lab instruments indicated:
We found one interesting detail. Sometimes, power consumption at the motherboard slot drops to zero, and sometimes power use through the auxiliary power cables does the same thing. Obviously, this never happens at the same time. However, the phenomenon still surprised us.