Let's have a look at how much power draw we measure with this graphics card installed and overclocked.
The methodology: We have a device constantly monitoring the power draw from the PC. We simply stress the GPU, not the processor. The before and after wattage will tell us roughly how much power a graphics card is consuming under load.
Our test system is based on a power hungry Core i7 965 Extreme Quad Core / X58 system. This setup is overclocked to 3.75 GHz. Next to that we have energy saving functions disabled for this motherboard and processor (to ensure consistent benchmark results).
We'll be calculating the GPU power consumption here, not the total PC power consumption.
Measured power consumption R7870
System in IDLE = 157W
System Wattage with GPU in FULL Stress = 274W
Difference (GPU load) = 117W
Add average IDLE wattage ~10W
Subjective obtained GPU power consumption = ~ 127 Watts
Mind you that the system wattage is measured at the wall socket.
Measured power consumption overclocked at 1200 MHz (with 1.3 Volts)
System in IDLE = 161W
System Wattage with GPU in FULL Stress = 299W
Difference (GPU load) = 138W
Add average IDLE wattage ~10W
Subjective obtained GPU power consumption = ~ 148 Watts
Mind you that the system wattage is measured at the wall socket and the GPU 100% stressed. So out overclock and Voltage tweak ended up using another 21 Watts, that's nothing.
Above, a chart of relative power consumption. Again the Wattage shown is the card with the GPU(s) stressed 100%, showing only the peak GPU power draw, not the power consumption of the entire PC and not the average gaming power consumption.
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