Power Consumption of Premium Graphics Cards
We begin with measuring power consumption of the highest performance graphics cards available today: ATI Radeon X1900 XTX , ATI Radeon X1900 XT, Nvidia GeForce 7800 GTX 512 and overclocked Radeon X1800 XT flavour from Asustek Computer: the Extreme AX1800 XT TOP/2DHTV.
As we see, power consumption of all graphics cards is approximately similar in idle, whereas under full load in 3D the Radeon X1900 XTX is the “champ” when it comes to devouring of power. The most economical graphics card in the premium class is definitely the GeForce 7800 GTX 512 that does not even come close to the Radeon X1800- or X1900-series in terms of hunger for the energy.
The noise level created by the graphics cards we used is approximately similar: all the graphics boards can barely be heard, especially the GeForce 7800 GTX 512. If these boards are installed into a high-quality computer case, then there will be no problems with noise at all.
All the premium graphics cards are pretty long and you should check whether they are not too long for your setup. But while all of the products use dual-slot cooling systems, the one that is utilized by Asustek’s overclocked Radeon X1800 XT is the heaviest one, whereas Nvidia’s GeForce 7800 GTX 512 utilizes the lightest one.
For users of widescreen high-end liquid crystal displays (LCDs) the only choice among the premium graphics cards, are solutions by ATI Technologies: even though they consume more than the product by Nvidia, the latter does not support dual-link DVI (there are a couple of exceptions: certain graphics cards by Pny and Evga do sport a special dual-link TMDS transmitter and thus dual-link DVI), which is required for resolutions higher than 1600x1200 at 60Hz on LCD for monitors with digital connectors.