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Nvidia GeForce 210 and GeForce GT 220: Power Consumption, Temperature, Noise

Low power consumption and noise are important parameters for the product class the reviewed graphics cards belong to, so we had to check out both. First, we measured the power consumption of our GeForce 210 and GeForce GT 220. Using our old method, we obtained the following data:

The new cards are quite economical but, notwithstanding the simpler architecture, the GeForce GT 220 consumes somewhat more power under load than the Radeon HD 4550. On the other hand, it is clear that neither of these cards is going to have power-related problems if installed into an inexpensive desktop PC or an HTPC. A low-wattage PSU will suffice perfectly. There should also be no cooling-related issues. With power consumption like this, the GeForce 210 and GeForce GT 220 can do along with passive coolers even.

* - proprietary cooling system
** - passive cooling system

The GeForce 210 is undoubtedly a cold device, but neither version of the GeForce GT 220 is impressive from this point of view. Although the Gigabyte version employs a heavier heatsink and an 80mm fan, they have the same GPU temperature. The GPU temperature of 75°C is quite normal for any modern graphics card, though. You can put up with it, especially if the device is not noisy. Let’s check out the noise factor now.

Next we measured the noise with a noise-level meter Velleman DVM1326. The reference point for our noise measurement tests is 43dBA which is the level of ambient noise in our test lab as measured at a distance of 1 meter from the testbed with a passively cooled graphics card inside. When we installed the tested graphics cards, we got the following results:

Well, our noise-level meter could not detect any sound of the tested graphics cards in the noise from the other system components even at a distance of 1 meter from the working testbed. So, they are very quiet, although we can’t claim that they are absolutely silent. We don’t use the quietest components possible in our testbed (particularly, the PSU is far from silent), so you may hear these graphics cards if you install them into a noise-free HTPC.

We want to end the theoretical part of this review here and move on to practical tests. The products we are discussing are designed for multimedia computers in the first place, so we will show you how good they are at decoding and post-processing high-definition video.

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