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Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards
Written by Matt Williams   
Sunday, 21 December 2008
Table of Contents: Page Index
ASUS EAH4870 DK TOP 512MB Video Card
Radeon HD 4870 Features
ASUS EAH4870 DK TOP Specifications
Closer Look: ASUS HD 4870
EAH4870 DK TOP Detailed Features
Video Card Testing Methodology
3DMark06 Benchmarks
COD 4 Fraps Benchmarks
Crysis Benchmark Results
Devil May Cry 4 Results
World in Conflict Benchmarks
ASUS HD 4870 Power
ASUS HD 4870 Overclocking
Radeon HD 4870 Final Thoughts
ASUS EAH4870 DK TOP Conclusion

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:

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.

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.

asus_eah4870_power_chart.jpg

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.

asus_eah4870_temperature.jpg

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.





 

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