|ASUS GeForce GTX 460 SLI Performance|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Monday, 02 August 2010|
Page 18 of 21
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 turning "green". I'll spare you the powerful marketing hype that gets sent 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.
For power consumption tests, Benchmark Reviews utilizes the 80-PLUS GOLD certified OCZ Z-Series Gold 850W PSU, model OCZZ850. This power supply unit has been tested to provide over 90% typical efficiency by Chroma System Solutions, however our results are not adjusted for consistency. 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 test computer system, which is allowed to boot into Windows-7 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 GeForce GTX 460 requires two six-pin PCI-E power connections. Resting at idle, the power draw consumed only 18 watts of electricity... 8W less than the ATI Radeon HD 5830 and exactly half the amount required for the GeForce GTX 465. Once 3D-applications begin to demand power from the GPU, electrical power consumption climbed to full-throttle. Measured with 3D 'torture' load using FurMark, the GeForce GTX 460 consumed 167 watts, which is slightly higher than the Radeon 5830 but well below the 219W consumed by the GTX 465. Although GF104 Fermi GPU features the same 40nm fabrication process as the GF100, it's clear that NVIDIA's GTX 460 is better suited for 'Green' enthusiasts.
Adding a second GeForce GTX 460 into SLI may create a pair of video cards capable of surpassing ATI's Radeon HD 5870, but it also increases power consumption beyond the 5870 as well. At idle, the GeForce GTX 460 SLI set consumes roughly 44 watts of power. Pressed well beyond their normal energy needs with Furmark, the SLI pair uses 285 watts. A single Radeon HD 5870 video card used 240W in the same test, which measures 45W less than the GeForce GTX 460 SLI set.