Video Card Power Consumption

Check out the powercolor X1950 PRO SCS3 (SCS stands for Silent Cooling System). It has a lightweight aluminum heat sink the size of automobile heater core, but no fan.

Impressive, if your case has room for it.

Jeff, I actually built a system with a similar heatpipe-cooled Gigabyte (a Radeon X1650) model and also had problems with it overheating and bluescreening. Turns out that the thermal paste holding that gold block on there wasn’t actually making contact with the die. I stripped the whole thing down, scraped off the old paste, slathered Arctic Silver over it, reassembled it, and have had no problems since.

And that’s why you need a 500W true PSU for everything hehe.

Great article imo, would love to see it beign updated with lastest cards…although that would be quite a lot of work.

Never knew 7900 used that ‘much’ power.

I have a 300 watt power supply and I am going to be getting the 7600gt card. Since it only uses 36 watts at max load, does that mean I can use my 300 watt psu without having to upgrade the psu? All I have is the following:

Pentium 4 HT
2 GB pc4200 ddr2 ram (2 sticks total)
One DVD burner
A mouse and keyboard
One LCD monitor (17in)
I think there might be two fans inside the system. I haven’t checked it yet.

All I want is to play games without lags. The onboard xpress 1100 really sucks and I am on a tight budget. I don’t want any other card but the 7600gt.

running 7600GT on 305W PSU (Dell 8300) with 2 SATA drives, 1 IDE Drive, 1 DVD RW, SB X-Fi

been on it for 10 months,

I have a hp slimline with a 160 watt PSU its runnig an AMD 64x2 4800+ and a sata 320gb hard drive. I’m planing to get a geforce 7300le, not the best card but it’s more than I’m looking for. Would it work? I really need to improve my graphics.

I’ve been looking for a super low power video card for a server role (nothing fancy needed). Advantech has a PCI card that uses between 1 and 1.5 watts. Only problem is that is costs a little over $100. Currently using a 7300LS fanless card that is using close to 10 watts. What I would love would be a 2 watt card for $30-40.

John G,
I would recommend you smack in an older pci graphics card. I have something like a 1 meg graphics card in my 486 I bet that doesnt use anymore than 2 or 3 watts and you can buy these older cards very cheap on ebay.

We need a FVCI (freezer-video card interface). Just hook your computer up to your kitchen freezer. Now that’s cooling.

This is a fantastic comparison - any chance of an updated table of graphics card power usage - perhaps to include more unusual chips/cards like Matrox too?

Time for that update.

Useful site.
Any chance you might recommend a low profile graphics card for a Dell XPS 200 which has a PSU of 275W?

Let’s say I have a agp 3650 512 Mg graphics card (say Powercolor from newegg) that is low enough power consumer to work with a 350-400 W power supply AND that at peak power consumption an agp 3850 512 card would draw too much power and blue screeen (or whatever they do)…

What I want to know is… Does the power consumption of a graphics card scale with game settings for a game like oblivion or bioshock for example? So, if high settings blue screen due to power consumption troubles, one could lower game settings to those more appropriate for 3650 card (in between 2600 pro and xt) and survive the power hit?

Bottom line: Can I buy a 3850 card and run at 3650 settings and thus scale down power consumption (if an issue) so I don’t have to upgrade power supply if I don’t want to. Is it linear?

I would also love to see an update of this meta-article.

I haven’t found any sites comparing all the contemporary (available) cards such as the geforce 9000s, gtx 200s, and radeon 3800s/4800s. also be interesting how they compare to older cards.

I suspect the nvidia 7900gt is still the best performance/watt which is a little sad.

when will the industry give us another fast yet cool card?

what about power consumption of newer cards like 8800GT and 9800GT? Im having a local made 450W SMPS. was using 7600 GS without trouble for the past year.

An update to this would be great - it’s the only such benchmark to found. A surprising gap in the busy “review world” where CPU power-efficiency is a common review item. Surprising, b/c in general GPUs are more power hungry today.

I went with Radeon 3250’s with passive cooling since I need 4 cards (many LCD screens = lots of desktop = ease of use), and 4 whiny little fans is 4 whiny little fans more than I could stand. The good news is that some cases like the Antec 300 have a mounting for a large side fan to blow air onto the cards, solving the cooling issue.

we… NEED… update… incorporating both the newer cards, and older cards, also looking deep into several manufacturer’s Dying and Setting techniques my current system is a 1.7 Ghz Intel Celeron (Yech, i know!) 512 MB RAM, 60 GB HDD, and an XFX GeForce 6200 Silent on 4x AGP and this runs smoothly with 2 casefans, and a CPU fan (whines like a bitchy baby) this runs well with a 500 Watt PSU. My next computer is going to be a much MUCH more substantial Intel i7 915 or 920 with 4 case fans AND a CPU fan A>N>D and GFX Card fan, 12 GB RAM, 2x1 TB HDD (no RAID… its just dumb for anything other than a server IMHO) and an XFX GeForce 9800GT… ohh the joy!

The GeForce 7900 GT is even better, consuming only 33% more power to produce a 42% higher 3DMark06 score.

Why in the world would you care about 100 watts? Surely there is some other room where you can turn off a light bulb in order to free up the massive power your GPU is drawing.