After looking at the specification, we expected ATI’s FireGL V5600 card to consume the most power, as it has the highest clocked GPU and memory modules. In order to test this, we brought out our trusted SeaSonic Power Angel hardware wattage monitor. Our test system is a quad-core Core 2-based system at 3.0 GHz with top of the line hardware (seen on the next page), the only differences here are the graphics cards. We maxed out the GPUs with HDR shader tests in order to see the maximum power consumption level with the GPU running under load.
It looks like our initial expectations were right. While the V5600 only consumes about 10W more than its competing cards (FX1700 and V3600) at idle, under load it consumes about 40W more than the FX1700. Nvidia’s QuadroFX 1700 looks great, in terms of power consumption, as this mid-range workstation graphics card is consuming less power compared to ATI’s budget-level workstation card.