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.
The Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 X2 falls right about where you'd expect it to in terms of power consumption, considering its performance and the fact that it's powered by a pair of GPUs and 2GB of memory. While idling, it's right about on par with the more powerful Radeon HD 4870 X2, but under load the 4850 X2 consumes considerably less power than its big brother. Overall, the Radeon HD 4850 X2's power consumption is marginally higher than its NVIDIA-based counterparts, but lower than AMD's more powerful flagship.