|Sapphire HD4890 Toxic Vapor-X 11150-01-40R|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 09 June 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.
At 65W of power consumption at idle, our reading on the Sapphire Toxic 4890 is above ATI's stated 60W idle power, which is presumably because of the high overclock. Still, energy demand is on par with the dual-GPU NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295 and Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 X2. Full output power consumption doesn't make the Radeon HD 4890 Toxic look very much better. Under full load, the Sapphire Radeon HD 4890 Toxic video card consumed a massive 318W of electricity. This is a whole lot more than the factory-overclocked GeForce GTX 280 and 285, and about the same as a reference NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295. ATI claims a maximum board power of 190W, and our results are well above that figure. Unlike the reference Radeon HD 4890 (pictured above) which requires only two six-pin PCI-Express power connections, the Sapphire Toxic requires one six-pin and one eight-pin power connection.