Archive Home arrow Reviews: arrow Video Cards arrow MSI Radeon HD 4850 Video Card R4850-512M
MSI Radeon HD 4850 Video Card R4850-512M E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards
Written by Olin Coles   
Tuesday, 14 October 2008
Table of Contents: Page Index
MSI Radeon HD 4850 Video Card R4850-512M
Radeon HD 4850 Features
R4850-512M Specifications
Closer Look: MSI 4850
Video Card Testing Methodology
3DMark06 Benchmarks
Crysis Benchmark Results
Lightsmark Frame Rates
Unreal Tournament 3
World in Conflict Benchmarks
Radeon 4850 Power Consumption
Radeon 4800-Series Final Thoughts
MSI Radeon 4850 Conclusion

VGA Power Consumption

Life is not as affordable as it used to be, and items such as gasoline, natural gas, and electricity all top the list of resources which have exploded in price over the past few years. Add to this the limit of non-renewable resources compared to current demands, and you can see that the prices are only going to get worse. Planet Earth is needs our help, and needs it badly. With forests becoming barren of vegetation and snow capped poles quickly turning brown, the technology industry has a new attitude towards suddenly becoming "green". I'll spare you the powerful marketing hype that I get from various manufacturers every day, and get right to the point: your computer hasn't been doing much to help save energy... at least up until now.

To measure isolated video card power consumption, Benchmark Reviews uses the Kill-A-Watt EZ (model P4460) power meter made by P3 International. A baseline test is taken without a video card installed inside our computer system, which is allowed to boot into Windows and rest idle at the login screen before power consumption is recorded. Once the baseline reading has been taken, the graphics card is installed and the system is again booted into Windows and left idle at the login screen. Our final loaded power consumption reading is taken with the video card running a stress test using FurMark. Below is a chart with the isolated video card power consumption (not system total) displayed in Watts for each specified test product:

Video Card Power Consumption by Benchmark Reviews

VGA Product Description

(sorted by combined total power)

Idle Power

Loaded Power

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 SLI Set
82 W
655 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 Reference Design
53 W
396 W
ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 Reference Design
100 W
320 W
AMD Radeon HD 6990 Reference Design
46 W
350 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295 Reference Design
74 W
302 W
ASUS GeForce GTX 480 Reference Design
39 W
315 W
ATI Radeon HD 5970 Reference Design
48 W
299 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 Reference Design
25 W
321 W
ATI Radeon HD 4850 CrossFireX Set
123 W
210 W
ATI Radeon HD 4890 Reference Design
65 W
268 W
AMD Radeon HD 7970 Reference Design
21 W
311 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 Reference Design
42 W
278 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 Reference Design
31 W
246 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 Reference Design
31 W
241 W
ATI Radeon HD 5870 Reference Design
25 W
240 W
ATI Radeon HD 6970 Reference Design
24 W
233 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 465 Reference Design
36 W
219 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Reference Design
14 W
243 W
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 X2 11139-00-40R
73 W
180 W
NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GX2 Reference Design
85 W
186 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Reference Design
10 W
275 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 Reference Design
9 W
256 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 Reference Design
35 W
225 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 (216) Reference Design
42 W
203 W
ATI Radeon HD 4870 Reference Design
58 W
166 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti Reference Design
17 W
199 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 Reference Design
18 W
167 W
AMD Radeon HD 6870 Reference Design
20 W
162 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 Reference Design
14 W
167 W
ATI Radeon HD 5850 Reference Design
24 W
157 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST Reference Design
8 W
164 W
AMD Radeon HD 6850 Reference Design
20 W
139 W
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT Reference Design
31 W
133 W
ATI Radeon HD 4770 RV740 GDDR5 Reference Design
37 W
120 W
ATI Radeon HD 5770 Reference Design
16 W
122 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 Reference Design
22 W
115 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Reference Design
12 W
112 W
ATI Radeon HD 4670 Reference Design
9 W
70 W
* Results are accurate to within +/- 5W.

In regard to power requirements, MSI's Radeon HD 4850 doesn't have the same hunger for electricity as we've seen some of the latest video cards crave. By using the Kill A Watt EZ model P4460 power meter by P3 International, I was able to determine that the MSI R4850 consumed identical power to that of the Sapphire Radeon HD 4850. The 4850 requires a single six-pin PCI-Express power connection to ensure that the RV770 receives enough juice to push out the frames in 3D mode. Middle-market enthusiasts and lower-end gamers will appreciate that their existing power supply may still be up to the task of feeding the Radeon HD 4850 the power it needs without an additional upgrade expense.

The downside is the lack of efficiency in the 55nm RV770. The loaded power consumption measured for this MSI Radeon HD 4850 is on the same level as a loaded NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280; something that either speaks well for NVIDIA or poorly for ATI. The idle power draw is minimal which is not uncommon since emphasis is usually placed on idle/standby mode efficiency and conservation, but still much higher than the GeForce 9800 GTX which it competes against.

MSI_Radeon_4850_Power_Connection.jpg

Things look only a little better when two HD 4850's are combined into a CrossFireX set. At idle, the CrossFireX set consumes approximately 123 watts of power - roughly equivalent to two separate Radeon HD 4850's added together. The surprise comes under full load, which raises the power consumption to only 210 watts - on the level of a GTX 280 under full load.

Taken as a whole the idle stand-by power consumption is pretty unforgivable, especially since this the condition your equipment will be in the majority of the time. On the other hand, loaded consumption is not entirely bad... emphasis on entirely. Feel free to game without the guilt though, because you would be paying the same to your utility company with just about any other video card.

Please continue to the review conclusion in the next section, where I share my final thoughts on the RV770 graphics processor and give my opinion of the new Radeon HD 4800-series product offerings.



 

Comments have been disabled by the administrator.

Search Benchmark Reviews
QNAP Network Storage Servers

Follow Benchmark Reviews on FacebookReceive Tweets from Benchmark Reviews on Twitter