We measured the power consumption of computer systems with different graphics cards using a multifunctional panel Zalman ZM-MFC3 which can report how much power a computer (the monitor not included) draws from a wall socket. There were two test modes: 2D (editing documents in Microsoft Word and web surfing) and 3D (the intro scene of the Swamp level from Crysis 3 running four times in a loop at 2560x1440 with maximum visual quality settings but without MSAA). Here are the results:
As expected, the GeForce GTX 750 Ti configuration is the most economical of all. The difference from the configuration with MSI GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost is 72 watts at peak load, even though it is not wholly due to the graphics cards. Anyway, it is clear that the new Maxwell-based card is more economical than its predecessors and opponents. When overclocked, its power consumption grows by 15 watts at peak load.
In 2D mode the configurations are all comparable in terms of their power draw. We can also note that if you plan to use your GeForce GTX 750 Ti in a configuration like ours, the recommended 300W PSU won’t be enough.
The GeForce GTX 750 Ti graphics card features Nvidia’s GM107 chip with new Maxwell architecture. Designed for higher energy efficiency, the GPU indeed boasts an unprecedented performance-per-watt ratio. Compared to the GeForce GTX 650 Ti, which has more shader processors and texture-mapping units, the new card delivers higher performance while consuming only half the power. Moreover, despite the obvious power limits, our sample of the card did well in terms of overclocking, catching up with and even beating the Boost version of MSI’s GeForce GTX 650 Ti. Such low power consumption and heat dissipation make it possible to create small and quiet graphics cards, yet we are already looking forward to products with the second-generation Maxwell.
On the other hand, the new generation of Nvidia’s graphics cards doesn't bring about any breakthroughs in terms of speed. At a recommended $149, the GeForce GTX 750 Ti enters a highly competitive midrange segment where we can see the GeForce GTX 650 Ti (including its Boost version), Radeon R7 260X and Radeon R9 270, the newest Radeon R7 265 and the old yet still selling Radeon HD 7850. Hopefully, the actual retail price of the new card won’t be too high because energy efficiency alone is not enough to attract buyers.
From our, perhaps subjective, point of view, the GeForce GTX 750 Ti (just like the GTX 650 Ti for that matter) is not a true gaming card, so it is somewhat too expensive for its humble performance. We guess the GeForce GTX 750 Ti, small and with passive cooling, should sell for about $100. Such a product would be a real bestseller.