|ASUS EAH4870 DK TOP 512MB Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Matt Williams|
|Sunday, 21 December 2008|
Page 12 of 15
VGA Power Consumption
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.
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.
As with most things in life, when it comes to video cards you don't get something for nothing. As expected, the EAH4870 DK Top consumes considerably more power than the other test cards. However, considering the 30-48% performance advantage it has over the HD 4850, we certainly don't mind the extra 25% power consumption under load.
ASUS HD 4870 Temperature
Temperature and power consumption tend to be directly proportional. As power consumption increases, the heat output of the video card's components increase as well. Video card manufacturers usually stick to the reference heatsink and fan when a product series launches, but soon after, develop their own cooling solution. These custom cooling solutions can have a big impact, often reducing temperatures by 20-40%. To test cooling performance, Benchmark Reviews makes use of the temperature sensors built into modern video cards. We first measure the video card in an idle 2D windows environment to get the idle reading. We then max out the GPU load using FurMark and record the highest temperature reached in a 30 minute period. It should be noted that the case design and fans can have a large impact on these results, as well as ambient temperature. These tests were conducted using an Antec P180B case, with all fans set to low and an ambient room temperature of 74 degrees Fahrenheit.
Thanks to the Dark Knight cooler, the increased heat generated by the EAH4870 DK Top was held in check. In fact, it was beat out only by the much slower HD 4670. Even with the custom heatsink and fan from ASUS, I was not expecting temperatures nearly as good as these. The HD 4800 series video cards are notorious for their high heat output and the temperatures maintained by the Dark Knight cooler are simply phenomenal.