|MSI N450GTS Cyclone 1GD5/OC Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Hank Tolman|
|Thursday, 11 November 2010|
Page 14 of 17
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 Corsair 850W PSU, model TX850W. According to Corsair, this PSU provides 80% efficiency, however our results are not adjusted for consistency. To measure video card power consumption, Benchmark Reviews uses the Kill-A-Watt EZ (model P4460)power meter made by P3 International.
Normally, we would like to take a baseline test without a video card installed in the test system. However, in this test system, the on-board Radeon HD 4290 will auto-enable, even if previously disabled, if there is no other video card present. This poses a problem to getting a baseline for power consumption, so for this article, we will only be showing the power consumption of the system with the video card at idle, and at load. This should let us know how much power the video card can consume. Remember that this test is relative, since more power is consumed by other system components during the FurMark stress test as well. It should show us, however, a good idea of how much total power could be consumed in a media style PC under the harshest of circumstances.
The idle test results are taken while the system rests idle at the Windows 7 login screen. Then we load up FurMark and run the stress test and record the load power consumption after the test has been running for about 10 minutes.
As a disclaimer, our power tests are only meant to give a general idea of how much power you might be using with this video card. The results aren't a hard and fast rule. Hardware issues involved in the testing can also cause the results to vary greatly amongst different systems. Keep this in mind if power consumption is your biggest issue. With the MSI N450GTS Cyclone, we measured a complete system usage of 68W at idle. That number rose by 98W to 166W at full load. With the exact same test system, the Radeon HD 5770 we tested used 96W at idle and 188W at load. From the comparison, it appears as though the MSI N450GTS Cyclone uses less power, both at idle and load, than the Radeon HD 5770.