|ATI Radeon HD5570 DX11 Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Bruce Normann|
|Thursday, 11 February 2010|
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.
The ATI Radeon HD5450 pulled 12 (142-130) watts at idle and 52 (182-130) watts when running full out, using the test method outlined above. These numbers are reasonably close to the factory numbers of 9.7W at idle and 42.7W under load. With the video cards power demands dropping so low, this type of test starts to show its limitations. Nevertheless, the numbers are still in the ballpark.
I also tested power consumption while streaming 1080P video from YouTube. I waited until the clips were fully downloaded, and ran them full screen on my 1920x1200 monitor. I configured the graphics settings according to our helpful guide here on Benchmark Reviews, so that the bulk of the work was handled by the GPU, and also tweaked the visual settings to get maximum image quality. In the application it was designed for, mainly video streaming and HTPC, the Radeon HD5450 consumed slightly less power than it did during the FurMark stress test. Maximum power draw during 1080P video playback was 44 (174-130) watts, about 85% of the power required to run FurMark. This number seems a little high, but I'm sure the CPU load was contributing to it.