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Curbing Your GPU's Power Use: Is It Worthwhile?

Test System

Test System

Test System Configuration
CPUAMD Athlon II X2 250 (Regor) 3 GHz, 2 x 1 MB L2 CacheAMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition (Deneb) 3.2 GHz, 4 x 512 KB L2 Cache, 6MB L3 Cache
MotherboardBiostar TA790GX A3+, AMD 790GX Chipset
RAMTeam Elite TED32048333HC9D (8 GB) at DDR3-1066 CAS 9-9-9-24
Graphics CardGigabyte Radeon HD 5770 1 GB, GV-R577UD-1GD (Juniper), 850 MHz GPU, 1200 MHz MemorySapphire Radeon HD 5870 1 GB, Vapor-X HD5870 1G OC Version (Cypress), 875 MHz GPU, 1250 MHz MemoryAsus Radeon HD 6970 2 GB, EAH6970/2DIS/2GD5 (Cayman), 890 MHz GPU, 1375 MHz Memory
Hard DriveWestern Digital Green Power 1 TB WD10EACS, 16 MB cache, SATA 3Gb/s
SoundOn-board Sound, Realtek ALC880
NetworkingOn-board gigabit Ethernet, Realtek RTC8111C, 1 Gb/s
Power SupplyPC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 watt ATX12v v.2.2, EPS 12V CrossFire Edition
 CPU CoolerThermalright Ultra Extreme 120, Noctua NF-P12 120 mm fan
Fans2 x Noctua NF-P12 120 mm fan (not including CPU fan)
Software
Operating SystemWindows Vista Home Edition 32 bit SP1
Graphics DriversAMD Catalyst 10.9 for the Radeon HD 5770 1 GB & HD 5870 1 GB, AMD Catalyst 11.1 for the Radeon HD 6970 2 GB
Benchmark Configuration
GamingCrysis: Version 1.2.1, Demo: CPU Benchmark–Island, DirectX 9, Quality Preset: HighMedal of Honor: Version 1.0.75.0, Demo: Opening Scene of 2nd Mission–Breaking Bagram, Quality Preset: High
Video EncodingCyberLink PowerDirector 8: Version 8.00.3022, Video Trailer “Nine Inch Nails: Beside You In Time” 2:20, 1080p. Profile: AVCHD 1920x1080. Video Bitrate: 15.5 Mb/s.
Video PlaybackCyberLink PowerDVD 9: Version 9.0.1530.0, Video Trailer “Nine Inch Nails: Beside You In Time” 2:20, 1080p. Hardware Acceleration: Enabled.
ProductivityAdobe Photoshop CS4: Version 11.0, GPU Acceleration: Enabled
Synthetic Benchmark and Settings
Cinebench R11Version 11, OpenGL Test.