The dreaded word in the industry: power consumption. The GeForce 7600 GST requires obviously a stable 12-volt power source for best performance, reliability and most of all that gaming experience of yours.
What we always do with new graphics' cards, we measure the wattage peak with the help of a wattage meter. Slight side note, you are looking at the overall usage of the entire PC. The meter is placed between the power connector and the PSU. So please understand that using a Wattage meter is not the most reliable way of measuring power consumption. You basically look at how much power is the power circuit from your house pulling from the PSU. So you need to look at the results as being an indication and not an exact science.
Let's have a look at some Series 7 products in regards to total PC power consumption:
PC Power Consumption in Watt
GeForce 7300 GT
GeForce 7600 GST (Inno3D)
GeForce 7600 GT
GeForce 7900 GT
GeForce 7900 GTX
GeForce 7600 GT (SLI)
GeForce 7900 GT (SLI)
GeForce 7900 GTX (SLI)
The methodology: we simply look at the peak Wattage during a 3DMark05 session to verify power consumption. You are not looking at the power consumption of the graphics card, but the consumption of the entire PC. The graphics card obviously consumes way less than 75 Watts at peak during 3D gaming.
you need a 300 Watt PSU, better is always recommended especially if you keep SLI in mind as a future upgrade. When you buy a new PSU then look at the packaging and check the 12 volts rail on Ampere, 15 AMPS should be fine.
Here are some indications on what would happen if your PSU can't cope with the load:
unusual fluctuating 3D gaming performance
spontaneous resetting PC
freezes during gameplay
PSU overload can cause it to break down or shut down
So many things can happen, the 7600 GST however is nowhere in the high ranking of power consumption.
Dangerous Liaisons - temperatures of the graphics card
Inno3D is making use of the standard reference cooler from nVIDIA. They do the job pretty well cooling down the graphics core, unfortunately they are loud. We'll discuss that in the next chapter though. First let's have a look at thermal activity at GPU level.
Temperature in idle (Celsius)
Temperature at 100% load in (Celsius)
GeForce 7300 GS
GeForce 7600 GST Inno 3D
GeForce 7600 GT
GeForce 7900 GT
GeForce 7900 GTX
Let's have a look at the temperatures of a selection of series 7 cards compared with this reference cooler. A maximum 60 Degrees C peak temperature was monitored at the 7600 GST, a good score.
Roughly 60 Degrees C when it's peaking .. that's okay.
Noise Levels coming from the graphics card
When graphics cards produce a lot of heat usually that heat needs to be transported away from the hot core as fast as possible. Often you'll see massive active fan solutions that can indeed get rid of the heat, yet all the fans these days make the PC a noisy son of a gun. I'm doing a little try out today with noise monitoring, so basically the test we do is extremely subjective. We bough a certified dBA meter and will start measuring how many dBA originate from the PC. Why is this subjective you ask? Well, there is always noise in the background, from the streets, from the HD, PSU fan etc etc, so this is by a mile or two not a precise measurement. You could only achieve objective measurement in a sound test chamber.
The human hearing system has different sensitivities at different frequencies. This means that the perception of noise is not at all equal at every frequency. Noise with significant measured levels (in dB) at high or low frequencies will not be as annoying as it would be when its energy is concentrated in the middle frequencies. In other words, the measured noise levels in dB will not reflect the actual human perception of the loudness of the noise. That's why we measure the dBa level. A specific circuit is added to the sound level meter to correct its reading in regard to this concept. This reading is the noise level in dBA. The letter A is added to indicate the correction that was made in the measurement.
TYPICAL SOUND LEVELS
Jet takeoff (200 feet)
Shout (5 feet)
Heavy truck (50 feet)
Normal conversation (3 feet)
Bedroom at night
We startup a benchmark, we take the dBA meter, move away 75 CM and then aim the device at the active fan on the graphics card.
We measure roughly 51 dBa on the PC with a Inno3D 7600 GST,which is to be considered a moderate noise level coming from the PC. I'm slowly getting more and more dissatisfied about this reference cooler as I think it's too loud. Again, this is a very subjective test.
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