NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Review

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Power Consumption, Noise, Temps

Before bringing this article to a close, we'd like to cover a few final data points--namely, power consumption, temperatures, 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.

Total System Power Consumption
Tested at the Outlet

The GeForce GTX 780's power consumption fell right in line with expectations, for the most part. Its idle power consumption was higher than we expect, but we aren't sure if there's something with our test system that caused the elevated idle power. Load power, however, fell right in line above the GeForce GTX 680 but below the Titan. We should also point out that despite offering much better overall performance, the GTX 780's load power was also lower than the Radeon HD 7970's, which is a nod to the Kepler architecture's power efficiency.

We've included this temperature data to essentially show the GeForce GTX 780's idle temperature because reporting the max temp under load is pointless due to GPU Boost 2.0. GPU Boost 2.0 will run the GPU up to the maximum temperature target specified in the driver while under load and throttle voltages and fan speed accordingly to maintain that target temperature. Because the default temperature target was 79'C with our GTX 780, it peaked at 79'C under load. Set the temp target to 75'C and that's how high its GPU temperature will go.

Having a hard temperature target with the GeForce GTX 780 is interesting because it means cards that are better cooled, either through liquid cooling or when installed in a high-performance chassis, should offer somewhat better performance. The cooler a GeForce GTX 780 runs, the longer it will be able to maintain maximum GPU Boost frequencies, which will ultimately improve performance.

In terms of acoustics, the GeForce GTX 780 is simply awesome. It is easily among the quietest high-end graphics cards we have ever tested. Period. End of story. In real world conditions, the GeForce GTX 780 is somewhat quieter under load than a GTX 680 and is much quieter than a Radeon HD 7970.

Part of the reason for the 780's great acoustics is a new fan speed control alogorithm NVIDIA developed. For the GeForce GTX 780, NVIDIA developed a new fan controller that uses an adaptive temperature filter with an RPM and temperature targeted control algorithm to eliminate unnecessary fan fluctuations that contribute to fan noise. The end result is fewer fan speed fluctuations and a "smoother" acoustic profile.

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