NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 & 970 Maxwell GPU Reviews

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Power Consumption and Noise

Before bringing this article to a close, we'd like to cover a couple of final data points--namely, power consumption 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 970 and 980 virtually sipped power versus their contemporaries.  While idling, our test system consumers only 92 - 96 watts with the cards installed, and under load those numbers jumped up to only 284 watts for the GeForce GTX 970 and 295 watts for the GeForce GTX 980. Not only were those the two lowest scores under load here, but they're evidence that NVIDIA GM104 is the most power efficient, high-end GPU released to date.

With such low power consumption, it should come as no surprise that the  GeForce GTX 980 is also the quietest high-end graphics card we have tested. The GeForce GTX 970 represented here is the dual-fan EVGA offering we showed you a few pages back; it, however, was somewhat louder than the reference card, though we wouldn't consider it noisy by any measure.

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