Power Consumption and Acoustics
We have a few final data points to cover before bringing this article to a close. Throughout all of our benchmarking, we monitored how much power our test systems were consuming using a power meter, and also took some notes regarding their noise output and temperature. Our goal was to give you all an idea as to how much power each configuration used and to explain how loud the configurations were under load. Please keep in mind that we were testing total system power consumption here, not just the power being drawn by the video cards alone.
Although it has higher GPU and memory clock speeds, and double the amount of frame buffer memory, the GeForce 7950 GT consumed only slightly more power then the 7900 GT. We suspect that a tweaked PCB and the lack of a cooling fan drawing power are the reasons for the 7950 GT's relatively low power consumption numbers
And as far as noise concerned, the particular GeForce 7950 GT we tested didn't make any. As we've mentioned, the XFX GeForce 7960 GT 570M Extreme is passively cooled, so there were no fans or moving parts on that card that would generate any noise.
To monitor the card's temperature we enabled the GPU monitor built-into the Forceware Rel. 90 drivers and ran a few benchmarks. According to the temp monitor, the XFX GeForce 7960 GT 570M Extreme ran at temperatures between 45'C and about 65'C in our test system, but we should note these results were recorded with our system's side panel removed. When we first began testing in a closed case, the system actually shut down during our first run of 3DMark06. Suspecting the card had overheated, we removed the side-panel and tried again, and the card made it through all of our tests and overclocking experiments just fine. We also experimented with the case sealed after we were done with our benchmarks, but the card didn't exhibit any heat-related problems to speak of the second time around.