We measured the power consumption of systems with different graphics cards (without the monitor) using a specially modified power supply. A gaming load was emulated by running Aliens vs. Predator (2010) at 1920x1080 with 16x anisotropic filtering and 4x MSAA. For the maximum load we launched FurMark 1.9.0 in the stability check mode at 1920x1080 with 16x AF together with Linpack x64 (LinX 0.6.4, 4750 MB, 5 threads). These two programs load heavily the graphics card and CPU, respectively, so we can determine the peak power draw of the whole system and see what power supply will suffice for it. You can see the results in the diagram:
It’s clear that the systems with the Nvidia-based cards require a higher-wattage PSU. Unless you launch such resource-consuming applications as LinX or FurMark, any of the tested systems will be satisfied with a 550-watt PSU. Otherwise, you’ll need a 700-watt PSU. You must be aware that our overclocked six-core CPU contributes a lot to the overall power consumption. The numbers would be lower with a less power-hungry processor. We can also add that the systems had almost the same power draw when idle.
The two graphics cards from Palit we’ve tested today are both good products that combine this brand's traditionally adequate price with factory overclocking and low-noise alternative coolers. We guess the Palit GeForce GTX 560 Sonic Platinum is the more appealing of the two as it can deliver the performance of an Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti which costs more. Moreover, our sample of this already overclocked card could be overclocked even further!
The more expensive Palit GeForce GTX 560 Ti Sonic is 11 to 13% faster than its junior cousin, having the same GPU temperature and producing the same amount of noise at the same frequencies. It is also more compact but expectedly consumes somewhat more power. In fact, both cards can be called compact, which is good, and come with scanty accessories, which is the only thing we can find to complain about.
It’s hard to name the winner in the race between the Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 and AMD Radeon HD 6870 basing on the results of our today's tests. They were constantly changing places, winning one game or test mode and losing another. They have the same recommended and retail prices and feature their respective exclusive technologies. The GeForce GTX 560 consumes more power but is smaller than the Radeon HD 6870. Thus, we've got some tough competition in the midrange market sector, and that'll certainly be good for us, end-users.