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Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards
Written by Steven Iglesias-Hearst   
Tuesday, 15 February 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
VisionTek Killer HD5770 Combo Card
Closer Look: VisionTek Killer Combo
VisionTek Killer HD5770 Detailed Features
Features and Specifications
Killer NIC Software and Testing
Video Card Testing Methodology
DX10: 3DMark Vantage
DX10: Street Fighter IV
DX11: Aliens vs Predator
DX11: Battlefield Bad Company 2
DX11: BattleForge
DX11: Lost Planet 2
DX11: Tom Clancy's HAWX 2
DX11: Metro 2033
DX11: Unigine Heaven 2.1
VisionTek Killer HD5770 Temperatures
VGA Power Consumption
VisionTek Killer HD5770 Overclocking
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

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 an 80-Plus Gold rated Corsair HX750w (model: CMPSU-750HX) This power supply unit has been tested to provide over 90% typical efficiency by Ecos Plug Load Solutions. To measure isolated video card power consumption, I used the energenie ENER007 power meter made by Sandal Plc (UK).

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:

Video Card Power Consumption by Benchmark Reviews

VGA Product Description

(sorted by combined total power)

Idle Power

Loaded Power

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 SLI Set
82 W
655 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 Reference Design
53 W
396 W
ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 Reference Design
100 W
320 W
AMD Radeon HD 6990 Reference Design
46 W
350 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295 Reference Design
74 W
302 W
ASUS GeForce GTX 480 Reference Design
39 W
315 W
ATI Radeon HD 5970 Reference Design
48 W
299 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 Reference Design
25 W
321 W
ATI Radeon HD 4850 CrossFireX Set
123 W
210 W
ATI Radeon HD 4890 Reference Design
65 W
268 W
AMD Radeon HD 7970 Reference Design
21 W
311 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 Reference Design
42 W
278 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 Reference Design
31 W
246 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 Reference Design
31 W
241 W
ATI Radeon HD 5870 Reference Design
25 W
240 W
ATI Radeon HD 6970 Reference Design
24 W
233 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 465 Reference Design
36 W
219 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Reference Design
14 W
243 W
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 X2 11139-00-40R
73 W
180 W
NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GX2 Reference Design
85 W
186 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Reference Design
10 W
275 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 Reference Design
9 W
256 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 Reference Design
35 W
225 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 (216) Reference Design
42 W
203 W
ATI Radeon HD 4870 Reference Design
58 W
166 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti Reference Design
17 W
199 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 Reference Design
18 W
167 W
AMD Radeon HD 6870 Reference Design
20 W
162 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 Reference Design
14 W
167 W
ATI Radeon HD 5850 Reference Design
24 W
157 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST Reference Design
8 W
164 W
AMD Radeon HD 6850 Reference Design
20 W
139 W
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT Reference Design
31 W
133 W
ATI Radeon HD 4770 RV740 GDDR5 Reference Design
37 W
120 W
ATI Radeon HD 5770 Reference Design
16 W
122 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 Reference Design
22 W
115 W
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti Reference Design
12 W
112 W
ATI Radeon HD 4670 Reference Design
9 W
70 W
* Results are accurate to within +/- 5W.

A reference Radeon HD5770 is rated at 18W idle and 108W under load, our sample is somewhat different and is expected use slightly more than that. At idle the Killer HD5770 used 43W (162-119) and at full load used 114W (233-119). It seems that the network controller is pulling some extra Watts at idle and making the video card look more power hungry than it might be, at load the Killer HD5770 only uses a further 6W over the reference design.



 

Comments 

 
# I like the ideaktew 2011-02-16 07:19
I've had very good history with 5770s and the network speed improvements are very interesting (if you need that type of thing). I think my core disappointment is they did not use a quality cooling solution. Better heatsink or double fan or something to get to or below reference standards.

If I put a mid range machine together again, I'm looking for cool and quiet just as much as performance. This one seems to miss on each of those details and the price has moved it beyond a range I'd be considering in a mid-range build.
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# HmmIM0001 2011-02-16 10:55
The 5770 is a nice midrange card and paired with the Killer Nic, it would be the perfect card for IMO, a WoW player who wants a little graphics upgrade (or a lot) and a nice nic boost to boot. (It is one of the big games that does show a benefit using the Killer Nic vs Onboard.

A lot of people continue to cry foul and say it is just a placebo effect, but a lot of the high end gamers still pick one up since it does do a bit of cleaning and prioritizing of gaming traffic over other traffic while you are gaming. I do have a new Killer 2100 at home here to try but I have yet to have the time to open my rig and install it. Just too busy to deal with it as the comp also needs a bit of tweaking while I have her out.

Either way this card would be a prime candidate for a good crossfire setup to make it a potent little combo.

Also the cooling solution is similar to what VisionTek has been using on a lot of their card and it may make the system itself run a bit hotter since it vents into the case, it also cools the card a reasonable bit better than the stock reference design while also being quieter. What is the bummer is the 5700 series chip runs hotter than the 5800 series for whatever reason. It is the same chip used on the 5870M on laptops and they just get hot under load. The VT 5870 I own on my desktop has a very similar cooler (but more copper) but it idles at around 30-40C and under load never goes above the 70C's. A nice improvement over the older awesome yet super hot running 4800 series. (I had a VT 4870X2) It idled at 58C if the idle clocks were enabled, and under load it often hit 80+ with the VRM's themselves hitting 100C quite often on a lot of owners cards. They ran hot but ran great while they lasted.
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# Not that cheap, IMO.Olle P 2011-02-17 04:11
While the VisionTek Killer 2100 is a pretty expensive NIC, you can get a similar card at
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# most of the reply disappeared...Olle P 2011-02-17 04:14
A similar NIC can be had at
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# Darn code!Olle P 2011-02-17 04:18
It's the "less than" sign that cut my messages short... Here we go again:

A similar NIC can be had at less than $10.
A basic HD5770 less than $130.
Combined less than $140, which is way less than the $200 combo card.

The combo card is just about only worthwhile when you have a micro-ITX motherboard (only one expansion slot) *and* need the extra network speed *and* need fair graphics performance.
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# RE: VisionTek Killer HD5770 Combo CardSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2011-02-18 00:32
Similar NIC? or are you talking about any old network card?
Value rating was based on buying a VisionTek HD5770 and a Killer NIC since there are no other VGA+NIC comparison products.

AS I pointed out in my article, this card is aimed at MMORPG / RTS players.
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# RE: RE: VisionTek Killer HD5770 Combo CardOlle P 2011-02-18 05:20
The only reasons for using a NIC when there is a network controller on the motherboard are to a) offload the CPU and/or b) to have more network connectors.
"Any old network card", as you put it, *will* do this. And when it comes to MMORPG gaming the LAN speed is fairly irrelevant, since the server typically doesn't reside within the player's LAN. The vast majority of players have 100 Mbps internet speed or less, which will bottleneck any NIC.
So for relevancy the comparison should also include a cheap, separate, network card, and it should be made towards some server on the internet, or at least on a 100Mbps LAN incapable of higher speeds. I have a hunch that the Killer card isn't decidedly faster in that situation...
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# RE: RE: RE: VisionTek Killer HD5770 Combo CardSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2011-02-18 14:49
I do not own a game server that I can test on, also I can't just choose 'some' game server to conduct tests on because there are too many variables involved for it to be a controlled test. If the test isn't controlled then the results might as well just be plucked from a hat.

All I wanted to find out was whether UDP transmission was faster on the Killer NIC than on my on-board NIC since game traffic relies on UDP protocol. Testing this on a LAN resricted to 100Mb/s won't prove asnything as it is still a LAN.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: VisionTek Killer HD5770 Combo CardOlle P 2011-02-21 04:03
"Testing this on a LAN resricted to 100Mb/s won't prove asnything as it is still a LAN."
It will prove what happens when the top speed is governed by an external bottleneck. Restricting the speed to 10Mbps should be even more realistic, since that's closer to the real world limits.
Your own test showed that the motherboard's NIC ran both TCP and UDP at about 95 Mbps, which is what you get with a 100Mb restriction.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: VisionTek Killer HD5770 Combo CardSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2011-02-21 04:40
"It will prove what happens when the top speed is governed by an external bottleneck. Restricting the speed to 10Mbps should be even more realistic, since that's closer to the real world limits."

Since both NIC's are capable of near 100Mbps on TCP and UDP then the results would be equal and inconclusive.

The only real way to test would be to set up a game server and control the load on that server, connect to it with two identical machines at the same time (one with killer NIC one without) and record average frame rates and ping and also run the same test as detailed within this article.

My budget won't allow for that, so I test within my means.
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# usefulldie 2011-03-26 03:14
6870 I like it for price and power consumption I think for best buy
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