|ASUS ENGTX260 Matrix GeForce GTX 260 Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Bruce Normann - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Friday, 15 May 2009|
Page 13 of 15
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:
* Results are accurate to within +/- 5W.
The ASUS ENGTX260 pulled 60 (180-120) watts at idle and 240 (360-120) watts when running full out, using the test method outlined above. These numbers are with the overclocked GPU and memory, as that's the way most people are going to run this card. I can't see paying for this level of capability and flexibility, and then not using it. The power draw measured in this test is comparable to the Palit GTX 260 Sonic 216SP, which is the closest competitor in the chart above.
I cross-checked the results with the power consumption breakdown displayed in the iTracker software, and they were quite a bit lower. I know that during the Furmark stability test, one core of the CPU is running at 100%, so that skews the results obtained in the standard testing. Still, I'm not happy with the disparity in the results. iTracker reported the power consumption as follows:
This is just one more example of the value provided by the ASUS software. For the general user, I don't know how much attention they might pay to power consumption on an ongoing basis once their system is set up, but for the reviewer, it's a very useful tool