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Performance vs. Power usage (desktop GPUs)

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Elfear

Diamond Member
May 30, 2004
7,040
558
126
This generation is mid-range performance, it's to be expected that power levels won't be like GF100 because that was a high end card for it's day.
I wouldn't say performance on par with last gen's dual-GPU cards is mid-range.

The 7970 is more closely related in power consumption to the 470/570, the latter of which was not considered hot/loud for it's time. The reason the 680 made such a sink is because it performed better than the 7970 while being a power level lower. The 7970 drew power like a 470 but performed like a 465 relative to the 680.
Unless you're talking months ago, I'm not sure where that came from.




 

SPBHM

Diamond Member
Sep 12, 2012
4,998
356
126
Heat and noise = dependant on the cooler. You can have an extremely hot and noisy gpu if it comes with a crap cooler.

Vice versa, custom 7970 ghz ed runs cool and quiet.

If you pay a lot for electricity, it matters. Otherwise i can see why many dont care.
heat will always have to go somewhere... the card running cool doesn't necessarily mean a lot for the rest of the case or room... you can end up paying somewhere else...

but I agree that, if you don't pay for electricity, it may not be a problem,
for me it's always something to consider, if you can get comparable performance for a similar price and 50-100w less, why not?
wasting less power can't be a bad thing to do...

when NV released the G80 and ATI the R600 things started to go pretty crazy, but apart from the dual GPUs, things look more in control now, with decent power management.

but I think the CPUs (from Intel) have been doing even better in trying to improve on this area....
 

BenSkywalker

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
9,140
67
91
I wouldn't say performance on par with last gen's dual-GPU cards is mid-range.
Considering it was a full node drop, probably should be closer to low mid range to high entry level, but mid range is within the margin of error. Full node drop is normally three generations, this round has just been insanely bad.
 

PrincessFrosty

Platinum Member
Feb 13, 2008
2,301
68
91
www.frostyhacks.blogspot.com
Performance per watt is generally only a major concern with Mid tier cards, in the high end generally speaking its a race to get the most powerful card out the door with all other factors being secondary, most hardware enthusiasts will look at speed first, then things like power usage, heat and noise second.

As the manufacturing process drops, the transistor size decreases the power efficiency goes up anyway so we get improvements in every generation, optimisations are always nice but I think I'd prefer the engineering teams focus on raw speed in the high end, that's the reason I buy the high end parts.
 

wand3r3r

Diamond Member
May 16, 2008
3,180
0
0
If I were to try quantify my personal criteria, they could be something like this:

30% Cost
30% Performance
25% Noise
10% Brand (warranty)
05% Power consumption


Am I forgetting anything else? Brand is only a concern for warranty purposes,I am extremely concerned about warranty terms. (EVGA, ASUS, MSI)

I would only even look at power consumption if there was a major difference, not some puny 10% difference. All other things being equal, power consumption could be a *slight* factor for me.
 

BallaTheFeared

Diamond Member
Nov 15, 2010
8,115
0
71
Unless you're talking months ago, I'm not sure where that came from.
I don't mean anything bad about it, but I was referencing reference.

The 7970 draws a bit more power but is slightly slower, hence the analogy draws power like a 470, but performs like a 465 when compared to the 680 which in this analogy would draw power like a 465 but perform like a 470 in comparison.

It's not a big deal to me either way, power is low on my list of concerns. I like the 7970 for it's OC, it's nice to get a chip you can play with. However I think I've been pretty clear about my performance stance since the 7970 - I expected more from a full node shrink not simply lower wattage on top tier cards but actual top tier cards - the 680 didn't do anything to change that.
 

Elfear

Diamond Member
May 30, 2004
7,040
558
126
The 7970 draws a bit more power but is slightly slower, hence the analogy draws power like a 470, but performs like a 465 when compared to the 680 which in this analogy would draw power like a 465 but perform like a 470 in comparison.
Might want to look at the Performance Per Watt charts again. At least according to TPU, the 7970 has slightly less performance per watt at 1080p and slightly more at 1600p. I'm not trying to be nit picky but there is this common belief that the 7970 is a lot more power hungry for the performance than the 680 when they're really almost exactly on par.

It's not a big deal to me either way, power is low on my list of concerns. I like the 7970 for it's OC, it's nice to get a chip you can play with. However I think I've been pretty clear about my performance stance since the 7970 - I expected more from a full node shrink not simply lower wattage on top tier cards but actual top tier cards - the 680 didn't do anything to change that.
I guess I didn't take into account the full node drop this gen. In that case the performance is a little disappointing although it has allowed some massive overclocking headroom.

Back OT - Power consumption matters to me but it is further down the list of priorities. All else being equal, I'll choose the card that consumes less power.
 

SirPauly

Diamond Member
Apr 28, 2009
5,187
1
0
Imho,

Power use is on the important totem pole but how important or how high it is on the important totem pole is subjective to the individual. A balance of nice power efficiency, thermals and acoustics are compelling. There are reasons that virtually every review has power efficiency, thermal and acoustic tests and investigations based on the importance to a potential owner.

Choosing hardware is about subjective balance based on tastes and tolerances and they differ.
 

BD231

Lifer
Feb 26, 2001
10,568
136
106
You all must be in some tiny rooms if your video card is raising your ambient lol.
 

anongineer

Member
Oct 16, 2012
25
0
0
I have this weird notion that lower TDP meant longer lifespan. Replacing things when I want to is less stressful than replacing things when I have to.
 

BD231

Lifer
Feb 26, 2001
10,568
136
106
Weird notion indeed, no matter the tdp inadequate cooling will decrease lifespan.
 

Bill Brasky

Diamond Member
May 18, 2006
4,345
1
0
I care about power mostly because it translates into heat and noise, only a small part is from being a tree-hugging planet-saver :)
This. I don't really care at all about the electricity costs. Noise is my primary concern along with performance.
 

1h4x4s3x

Senior member
Mar 5, 2010
284
0
0
Considering that I pay around 20 cents per kWh I do care about power usage. Even though the fact I probably only save up to $100 compared to a high end system it shouldn't be disregarded.
 

The_Golden_Man

Senior member
Apr 7, 2012
816
0
0
As to power usage... I dont care much if my videocard uses 150 or 200W. Of course lower Wattage is an advantage, it saves power. I'm not saying I dont care at all. However, wattage usage is not my biggest worry. What I care the most about is cooling and noise. More Wattage needs better colling. That means more noise.

Kepler can run much more silent VS the older Fermi due to much lower power usage. This I really care about.
 
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