Power Consumption, Noise, and Stability
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.
As we would expect, the fastest card also consumed the most power at load. What we didn't expect, however, is for MSI's card to consumer so much less power compared to Gigabyte and EVGA. It's worth pointing out that MSI is the only card of the three to use a 6-pin and 8-pin PCI-E configuration instead of two 8-pin connectors. It also consistently benched lower than the other two cards even though its clockspeed was set at the same as EVGA's card.
Noise and Stability
All three cards get kudos for running near silent throughout the majority of testing. This is a testament to each company's custom cooling solution and we'd be hard pressed to pick a favorite among the three. If forced to pick a winner, MSI would get the nod by a hair. Not only did it run quiet, but it was far slower to heat up than the other two cards when running a 100 percent GPU load. This might be due to the semi-open air design of the cooler's minimalistic shroud.
With regards to stability, we have to knock Gigabyte for kicking us to the desktop on occasion. It didn't happen all the time, but enough to make us feel as though this particular card is clocked a tad too high. It just takes a single component to ruin the party, and somewhere along the line there's a stubborn part on our review sample. We didn't run into any issues with either of the other two cards.