Power consumption of current graphics cards

Grafikkarten | HT4U.net
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Green IT is on everyone's lips. Processors consume less power, power supplies get 80-plus-certificates and mainboard-manufacturers suddenly advertise the efficiency of their voltage regulators. In the same breath power consumption of graphics cards doesn´t seem to know any limits. The days in which the CPU is the king of power consumption are already past for a while. While the first 3D-accelerators did not even need a heat sink to cool down the chip, nowadays already a passive cooling-solution for a entry-card is a challenge for engineers.

Bild: Power consumption of current graphics cards

The power consumption of the single components in a (gaming) desktop PC is more and more dependent on the graphics-engine. For dimensioning of the power supply, graphics cards has been evolved to an important factor. For saving electricity it is necessary to pick a model with a low idle-consumption. This facts we used as an opportunity to write an article which only deals with the power consumption of current graphics cards.

This is the first time we can refer to exact measurements of the power consumption from graphics cards – measurements some readers possibly know from CPU-tests. We don´t need to rely on power consumption of the whole system any more. Beside standard conform measurements of noise level as well as results of GPU- and memory-voltage our future articles in the graphics-sector will also contain the real power consumption. In this way we hope to deliver the reader an even more comprehensive overview of a product than in the past.

The focal point of this article lies on the power consumption of a large number of graphics cards. Additionally we will keep an eye on some factors that influence power consumption. How does the temperature influence power consumption? What about clock-frequency? What happens in case of voltage-changes? Questions we also like to deal with on the following pages.