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 motherboards alone.
Although the current iteration of the GeForce 9500 GT is manufactured using a 65nm process, as opposed to the 55nm process of the Radeon's, it still exhibits very good power characteristics. In fact, the GeForce 9500 GT was the lowest power consumer of the bunch while idling and under load.
As you would expect with power consumption this low, heat output is also quite low, and the card's cooler is nice and quiet. We wouldn't call the GeForce 9500 GT silent due to its active cooler, but it is definitely a quiet product, well suited to the HTPC crowd. We'd also suspect passively cooled models will be available at some point in the future as well, if history is any indicator.