Power Consumption and Noise
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 systems were 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.
With the V8800 installed, our Core i7 test system consumed 335W during load and 203W in an idle state. Compared to the V8750, the new FirePro graphics card used 20% less power at idle but about 2% more at load. We expected this much since ATI claimed to significantly reduce power consumption while idle with only a slightl increase under load, moving from the RV770 to the RV870.
Also, its important to mention that V8800 remained cool and quiet throughout testing. Throughout our time with the card, we never heard the fan ramp up during any of the benchmarks. Unlike the V8750, which spins at 100% for a few seconds at system startup, the V8800 powers up silently and remains that way.