Articles: Graphics

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Power Consumption, Temperature, Noise

It is especially interesting to find out the power consumption of the GF108, so we performed the necessary tests for our GV-N430OC-1GL graphics card installed into the following test platform:

  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 CPU (3GHz, 1333 MHz FSB x 9, LGA775)
  • DFI LANParty UT ICFX3200-T2R/G mainboard (ATI CrossFire Xpress 3200 chipset)
  • PC2-1066 SDRAM (2x2 GB, 1066MHz)
  • Enermax Liberty ELT620AWT PSU (620W)
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 7 64-bit
  • CyberLink PowerDVD 9 Ultra/"Serenity" BD (1080p VC-1, 20 Mbit)
  • Crysis Warhead
  • OCCT Perestroika 3.1.0

The new testbed for measuring electric characteristics of graphics cards uses a card designed by one of our engineers, Oleg Artamonov, and described in his article called PC Power Consumption: How Many Watts Do We Need?.As usual, we used the following benchmarks to load the graphics accelerators:

  • CyberLink PowerDVD 9: FullScreen, hardware acceleration enabled
  • Crysis Warhead: 1600x1200, FSAA 4x, DirectX 10/Enthusiast, "frost" map
  • OCCT Perestroika GPU: 1600x1200, FullScreen, Shader Complexity 8

Except for the maximum load simulation with OCCT, we measured power consumption in each mode for 60 seconds. We limited the run time of OCCT: GPU to 10 seconds to avoid overloading the graphics card's power circuitry. Since Gigabyte’s factory overclocking is insignificant, we only measured the power consumption at Nvidia’s official reference speeds. Here are the obtained results:

The Gigabyte GeForce GT 430 has a very low power draw of about 23-24 watts when running a modern 3D shooter, which is comparable to the power consumption of the Radeon HD 5550 GDDR5, much lower than that of the GeForce GT 240, and but slightly higher than the power consumption of the GeForce GT 220. The GeForce GT 430 is also economical in the other test modes.

The Gigabyte card is not exceptional in terms of temperature. At an ambient temperature of 25°C it was as hot as 70°C under load when installed into the closed system case of our testbed. That would be normal for a modern graphics card of a higher class, but we might expect better results from the economical GF108 processor with an improved cooler (compared to the reference cooling system).

The Gigabyte GV-N430OC-1GL is blameless in terms of noisiness. The couple of fans and the larger heatsink make their job perfectly and the card’s noise grows only by 1 decibel under load. You can hardly hear the sound of this card amidst the other noises produced by a working computer.

So, we can't find any fault with the Gigabyte GV-N430OC-1GL and its electrical, thermal and noise characteristics. Let’s now see how it performs in games.

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