We have good news and bad news here. The bad news should not come as a major surprise as the GTX 480 in its stock form is one power hungry video card. Our results show the overclocked EVGA HC FTW GTX 480 uses even more juice due to higher operating frequencies. But if you're considering this monster card, we can't image a few extra dollars on your electricity bill over the course of a year being a deal breaker.
The good news is this graphics card runs at very low temps. Of course, every liquid cooling loop is different and ambient temperature is a major factor, but our testing showed impressive results in both idle and load states. Here is where a water-cooled video card makes its mark. Yes, it costs more. Yes, it requires additional hardware to implement. But, it will operate at much lower temps than its air cooled brethren. The GF100 is a perfect candidate for liquid cooling and can truly reach its potential once temps are kept in check.