We'd like to cover a few final data points before bringing this article to a close. Throughout all of our benchmarking and testing, we monitored how much power our test system was consuming using a power meter. Our goal was to give you an idea as to how much power each configuration used while idling and under a heavy workload. Please keep in mind that we were testing total system power consumption at the outlet here, not just the power being drawn by the graphics cards alone.
A quick look at power consumption reveals no surprises. As you would expect, the V7800 consumed more power than the entry level V4800 and V3800 cards. At 342W fully loaded, the V7800 used about 12% less power than the top of the line V8800, while idle power was about the same at 241W.
All three cards in our roundup feature single-slot coolers with relatively small fans. During our testing, noise levels remained reasonable and we did not notice a big difference during idle and load conditions.