Of course it does use more power.
Galaxy Technology, a well-known supplier of graphics cards, has demonstrated the world’s first and yet only dual-chip GeForce GTX 470 graphics card powered by Fermi architecture. At present the graphics board seems to be a pure prototype and it is unclear whether Galaxy will ever be able to commercially release the product.
The graphics card itself is rather huge both in terms of length and in terms of height, hence, it can fit only into large computer cases. The product also sports two 8-pin PCI Express power connectors, which is hardly surprising, considering theoretic power consumption of the unit. The dual-chip GeForce graphics card from Galaxy features Nvidia’s BR-series PCI Express hub to ensure efficient operation of the two graphics processing units (GPUs). Galaxy showcased a non-functional prototype.
Galaxy GeForce GTX 470 Dual Prototype. Image by Hot Hardware
Since the dual-chip GeForce GTX 470 graphics card can consume around 400W of power (single chip solution consumes around 197W with default clock-speeds), it naturally features very advanced power supply circuitry and is definitely rather expensive to build. In fact, even two 8-pin PCI Express power connectors (each of which can provide up to 150W) may not be enough to satisfy rather monstrous demand for power by the prototype.
What is rather surprising is that the graphics board also has spare places for additional memory chips, which may mean that Galaxy was going to create a dual-GeForce GTX 480 graphics chips, a rather unbelievable idea, taking into the account the fact that even a single chip GTX 480 consumes 262W of power.
The prototype board made by Galaxy may become a rather exotic solution for enthusiasts looking for maximum performance and for those, who plan to install three 120Hz monitors for 3D Vision Surround environment. However, for those, looking for absolutely highest performance possible various limited-edition ATI Radeon HD 5970 – which feature two full-speed ATI Radeon HD 5870 GPUs – may be a better solution.
Possible pricing, launch timeframe and other information was not revealed at Computex Taipei, 2010, where Galaxy demonstrated the unit.