Power, Noise & Temperatures
We have a few final data points to cover before we bring this article to a close. Throughout all of our benchmarking, we monitored how much power our NVIDIA based test system was consuming using a power meter, monitored GPU core temperatures, and also set up a sound level meter about six inches away from the graphics card. Our goal was to give you all an idea as to how much power each configuration used and to explain how loud the configurations were under load. Please keep in mind that we were testing total system power consumption here, not just the power being drawn by the video card alone.
Our trusty Season Power Angel power meter reported lower power consumption numbers for the new GeForce 6800 GS configuration, while idling and while running at a full load. Although the core on the GS is running at a much higher clock speed than the GeForce 6800 GT (425MHz vs. 350MHz), the fact that its manufactured on a more advanced 110 nanometer process and has fewer pixel / vertex shader pipes translated into lower power consumption overall.
The GeForce 6800 GS also proved to be a relatively cool running GPU. While idling at the Windows desktop NVIDIA's drivers never reported a core GPU temperature higher than 39oC. And while running the taxing RTHDRIBL demo at nearly full-screen with the resolution set to 1600x1200 for about 20 minutes the GS' core temperature peaked at 62oC.
Lastly, we want to talk about the amount of noise generated by the cooler on the GeForce 6800 GS. We won't talk for long though, because there isn't much to report. The noise generated by the cooler on the GeForce 6800 GS was drowned out by our systems CPU cooler and PSU fans, and our noise meter registered the same decibel level regardless of which video card was installed.