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Power Consumption of High-End Graphics Cards

Among the high-end graphics cards we decided to measure power consumption of ATI Radeon X1800 XT 512MB , ATI Radeon X1800 XL , Nvidia GeForce 7800 GTX and Nvidia GeForce 7800 GT (we used Asus Extreme N7800GT/2DHTV ).

Power consumption of high-end graphics cards stacks according to performance.

Quite naturally, the Radeon X1800 XT 512MB consumes a lot more power than the rest of the graphics cards used here in both idle and high-performance modes. In fact, its power consumption is close to that of premium solutions, but so is its speed in games. Nvidia’s GeForce 7800 GTX consumes more power than the rest two boards, but outperforms both significantly too. The Radeon X1800 XL and the GeForce 7800 GT consume approximately similar amount of energy and their performance is also close to each other, as we know from widespread benchmark results.

The Radeon X1800 XT 512MB is not only the most power hungry high-end class product among tested today, but also the biggest and the heaviest one. It is longer than the GeForce 7800 GTX and uses dual-slot cooling system. On the other hand, it outperforms the 7800 GTX and also sports two dual-link DVI outputs unlike the rival. While the Radeon X1800 XL does not produce much noise, it is much longer than the reference GeForce 7800 GT, which may prevent it from installation into certain computer cases. On the other hand, it also sports dual-link DVI and can control its fan speed, whereas the GeForce 7800 GT sports neither of these two capabilities.

ATI has implemented dynamic clock gating technology into the Catalyst drivers, which lowered power consumption of the Radeon X1800 XT and X1800 XL compared to measurements conducted on the Catalyst 5.9 driver with Radeon X1000 support.

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