|ASUS Radeon EAH5870 V2 Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Bruce Normann|
|Sunday, 13 June 2010|
Page 18 of 20
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 ASUS EAH5870 V2 pulled 28 (158-130) watts at idle and 265 (395-130) watts when running full out, using the test method outlined above. The idle power consumption test is right on the factory number of 27W, and the load value is 77W above the 188W factory spec. That's about normal for this test, as it isn't possible to isolate the CPU load from the power measurements. You also have to factor in the efficiency of the power supply, which changes at different load levels. I think it's fair to say that the card pulls every bit of the full load current that is specified by the manufacturer, and maybe a few watts beyond that.
So, no major surprises in the power consumption area; it's ATI's biggest GPU, running at high clock rates. A good thing it's built on 40nm technology, otherwise those two billion transistors would be pulling a lot more power and generating a lot more heat. I next offer you some final thoughts, and my conclusions. On to the next page...