Specifications, Recommended Prices, Power Consumption
The following table lists the specifications of the reviewed graphics cards in comparison with the GeForce GTX 280.
The power consumption of the graphics cards was measured with a multifunctional panel from Zalman called ZM-MFC2. This panel measures the overall consumption of the system (without the monitor) rather than of an individual component. The configuration of my testbed is listed in the next section. The measurement was performed in 2D (Word and Web surfing) as well as in 3D mode (a recorded demo from S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky running at 1920x1200 without FSAA but with 16x anisotropic filtering).
I want to note one thing about Zalman’s monitoring panel. I had used to power my testbed by a 1000W Enermax Galaxy DXX power supply (EGA1000EWL). After I replaced it with a 1500W Thermaltake Toughpower (W0218), Zalman’s panel began to report a 25W lower consumption for the system than before. I don’t have more accurate tools for measuring power consumption and I can’t tell you how exact the numbers are (the measurement conditions were identical, of course). Anyway, this panel is quite good for the purpose of comparison.
To differentiate between graphics cards that have the identical name of GeForce GTX 260 and to avoid adding more symbols into the overpopulated diagrams, I will be referring to the new GeForce GTX 260 as GeForce GTX 266 because it has 216 shader processors. So, the power consumption results are listed in the next diagram:
It is interesting to compare the new GeForce GTX 260 with the older one. I have already written about the reduced heat dissipation of the newer version. Here, we can also see that at identical frequencies the system with the newer GeForce GTX 260 requires almost 30W less power than the system with the older GeForce GTX 260. Moreover, the system with the new GTX 260 that has 216 shader processors and is clocked at its default frequencies now consumes less power than the same system with a Radeon HD 4870. The same goes for 2D mode where the graphics cards are loaded less and work at reduced frequencies.
So, this comparison is in favor of the GeForce GTX 260. I can only add that there is but a negligible difference in power consumption of the system with the Radeon HD 4870 cards that have 512 and 1024 megabytes of graphics memory.