Power Consumption and Noise
Before bringing this article to a close, we'd like to cover a few final data points -- namely, power consumption and noise. Throughout all of our benchmarking and testing, we monitored acoustics and tracked how much power our test system was consuming using a power meter. Our goal was to give you an idea of how much power each configuration used while idling and also while 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 AMD Radeon R9 Fury X in our test rig, it ended up pulling more power from the wall than the Radeon R9 290X and 390 when under load, but the difference wasn't huge. Idle power was right on par, however. We should also mention that when AMD's ZeroCore tech kicked in and the screen dimmed, true idle power dropped to 82W. Note that although the Fury X used more total power, it's a much higher performing part, and is more efficient than either of its predecessors. Overall power isn't quite as low as NVIDIA's GM200, but AMD was able to improve efficiency considerably even with a larger, more complex GPU built on the same 28nm process node as Hawaii.
The Radeon R9 Fury X's acoustic profile is a little funky, at least with our early sample. The water pump in the card's self-contained liquid cooler unfortunately emitted an irritating, high-pitched whine at all times, that resulted in a louder signature than all of the other cards at idle. Under load though, the fan speed hardly changes and things remain relatively quiet. We're told that the high-pitched whine won't be present in retail cards, however. AMD send us this bit of info earlier today, "The issue is limited to a very small batch of initial production samples and we have worked with the manufacturer to improve the acoustic profile of the pump. This problem has been resolved and a fix added to production parts and is not an issue."
In terms of temperature, the Radeon R9 Fury X is downright chill. Our sample idled at a relatively cool 30'C and under load, after hours of benchmarking, it peaked at only 61'C. The liquid cooler works so well, fan speed hardly changes under idle and load conditions, and temps drop very quickly when the load is removed.