The Origin of Speed: Origin's Genesis Gaming System

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Stability, and Power Consumption


Power consumption was measured at the wall using a Kill-A-Watt power meter; the numbers given are indicative of the system's total power draw. We measure four specific states:

  • Idle: The system is booted and left with no background tasks running for 15 minutes.
     
  • Load:  This state models real-world power consumption when the machine is being used for computationally intensive tasks, including 3D gaming, rendering, or data analysis. The applications we use to determine an accurate value for load power can vary depending on the component or components being tested. For Origin's Genesis PC, we measured load power while looping our Crysis benchmark.
     
  • Peak: Peak power consumption is the maximum amount of power we were able to draw at the wall. Unlike idle and load measurements, peak power should not be treated as a realistic measure of a system's power consumption. We derive this value by simultaneously executing multiple programs (usually synthetic) that we've specifically chosen for their ability to create worst-case thermal/power consumption scenarios.
At present, we test peak power by running Prime95 across n-1 of the available cores on a system. The last core is reserved for executing the OpenGL GPU stress test program Furmark. In order to ensure a system is entirely stable we loop our peak power tests for a total of eight hours.



If you've ever tut-tutted at an 800W or higher PSU while telling yourself that no consumer really needs more than 400-500W, here's proof to the contrary. The culprits behind the numbers, if you want to call it that, are the Genesis' dual Radeon HD 5970 cards—but before you snark ATI for the 5970's potential power consumption, remember that the two dualie cards represent a total of:
 
  • 6400 stream processors.
  • 320 texture units
  • 4GB of video RAM
And so on, and so forth. ATI specs each 5970 card for a maximum of 294W of power, so it's not particularly surprising to see the Genesis pull these kind of numbers. What's most important is that the system remained stable, despite the fact that we tasked the power supply with providing ~93 percent of its rated power for eight hours straight.


Thermaltake's Toughpower 1200W PSU
 

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