|Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 5850 Video Card 21162-00-50R|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Thursday, 15 October 2009|
Page 14 of 16
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.
Sipping only 24W of electricity at idle, the model Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 5850 video card matches energy consumption with the GeForce 8800 GT, GTX 285, and Radeon HD 4890. Once 3D-applications begin to demand power from the GPU, electrical power consumption climbs. Under full 3D load the ATI Radeon HD 5850 requires 157W, which is 23% more efficient than the 204W consumed by the GeForce GTX 260 under load, or 38% better than the GeForce GTX 275 that it more directly competes with.