Power Consumption of Mainstream Graphics Cards
We used ATI Radeon X800 GT (PowerColor X800 GT ), ATI Radeon X1600 XT , Nvidia GeForce 6800 (MSI NV6800-TD128E ) and Nvidia GeForce 6600 GT (Leadtek PX6600 GT TDH ) to reveal how power hungry the modern mainstream graphics boards are.
Energy consumption of mainstream graphics cards today is definitely not high at all: it is considerably lower compared to the performance-mainstream solutions, but it is higher than that of entry-level products.
The exception is consumption of the GeForce 6600 GT which is as power hungry as the Radeon X800 GTO, but costs less and has slower performance in games . The least consuming is the GeForce 6800 product that works at very low clock-speeds, but which also cannot boast high performance. The Radeon X1600 XT does not drop its clock-speed in 2D, which is why its idle and peak 2D power consumption is not really low. But the model X1600 XT sports dual-link DVI, a capability that other graphics cards lack.
It is important to note that reference Radeon X1600 XT cannot regulate its fan speed, therefore, the product is much noisier than the rest of the boards. On the other hand, retail graphics cards may have this capability – as well as dynamic switching of clock-speeds in 2D and 3D modes – enabled.