Power consumption and Vista's Aero Interface

Our friends at the Tech Report have an interesting article on-line tonight (or this morning depending on where you're from!) investigating the effect Windows Vista's Aero interface has on power consumption.  As most of you probably know by now, Aero required a DX9 class video card to render properly, so even while sitting at the desktop your GPU is being put to use...

"Much has been made of Windows Vista's new Aero interface, and for good reason. The GUI is loaded with luscious eye candy, including the liberal use of transparency, and even a few 3D effects. That eye candy doesn't come cheap, though. Aero relies on graphics hardware to accelerate the interface, and requires a DirectX 9-compatible graphics card that supports Shader Model 2.0 and has at least 128MB of memory. Those requirements are pretty steep for an operating system, but they also raise an interesting question: if Aero is accelerated with graphics hardware, will system power consumption rise as a result? We decided to test and find out."

In TR's quick tests, it appears enabling the Aero interface doesn't effect power consumption all that much.  It would be interesting to see if power consumption with Aero scales differently at excessively high resolutions versus classic mode though, because the Aero interface reportedly requires much more frame buffer memory than the classic interface as resolutions increase. Ehh...one more thing to try out when I get around to installing Vista!