Real World Trifire 7970 Power Consumption Recordings.

Stu @ MSD

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Jan 9, 2013
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I have been pushing my system a little further this week and recorded the the following peak readings when benching 3DMark Fire Strike. I thought they may be of use to the benchers out there as they prove that a lot of the recomended PSU specs simply wont cut it for benchers.

System Specs:
i7 3770K @ 4.7ghz
3x 7970's in Trifire @ 1225 / 1900 (Average... each bench is different)

1GPU -


2x GPU -


3x GPU -


Remember - these figures are at the wall and dont take into account the PSU conversion efficiency... When gaming in Eyefinity at 5760x1080 @ 120HZ I dont think I have ever seen her exceed 1000w.
 

Lepton87

Platinum Member
Jul 28, 2009
2,544
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Wonder if my rig would beat yours in power consumption, too bad I don't have a power meter or maybe it's for the better, electricity isn't cheap in here ;)
 

nextJin

Golden Member
Apr 16, 2009
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I have been pushing my system a little further this week and recorded the the following peak readings when benching 3DMark Fire Strike. I thought they may be of use to the benchers out there as they prove that a lot of the recomended PSU specs simply wont cut it for benchers.

System Specs:
i7 3770K @ 4.7ghz
3x 7970's in Trifire @ 1225 / 1900 (Average... each bench is different)

1GPU -


2x GPU -


3x GPU -


Remember - these figures are at the wall and dont take into account the PSU conversion efficiency... When gaming in Eyefinity at 5760x1080 @ 120HZ I dont think I have ever seen her exceed 1000w.

Out of curiosity have you tested at those clocks with just 2 GPUS?
 

Stu @ MSD

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Jan 9, 2013
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Wonder if my rig would beat yours in power consumption, too bad I don't have a power meter or maybe it's for the better, electricity isn't cheap in here ;)

Its far from cheap here either mate, but hey, we all need our Crux. :)

Out of curiosity have you tested at those clocks with just 2 GPUS?

Sorry mate? There are three images there, 1 for each. :hmm:
 

BallaTheFeared

Diamond Member
Nov 15, 2010
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Whew, 382w for the 3rd card, 340w for the second.

That's average, not peak right?


Are your cards 8+6 or 8+8? Doesn't matter I guess I know my 470s were drawing outside their PCIe specifications.

Takes a beefy card to handle that much power, AMD did a great job building them.
 

Stu @ MSD

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Jan 9, 2013
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Whew, 382w for the 3rd card, 340w for the second.

That's average, not peak right?


Are your cards 8+6 or 8+8? Doesn't matter I guess I know my 470s were drawing outside their PCIe specifications.

Takes a beefy card to handle that much power, AMD did a great job building them.

These are instantaneous readings, Just what I managed to snap on my phone while it was flicking away. The 7970's are 8+6.

 

Stu @ MSD

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Jan 9, 2013
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XFX 1250W Pro Black Edition.
That said, I am reaching my limits here so will be upgrading soon to the Enermax Max Revo 1500w.
 

aaksheytalwar

Diamond Member
Feb 17, 2012
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What is your psu efficiency? Though these are right in line with what I thought it was everybody believes they know better when they don't.

IMO
7970 max oc
2600k at 5.0
a few hdds and ssds
and a few usb devices and extra cooling
650watt quality is what I recommend for a safe and long life, at the least. 550-600 is borderline though and 750 is conservative.

3930k at 5.0
7970 max oc cf
3+hdds
2+ ssds
etc
at least 1000w to be comfortable, minimum, 850 is very very borderline

and with 3 7950s you should ideally do at least 1200+ watts to be safe and not require changing the psu every 1-2 years or even have a miniscule power prob possibility.

And I assume, that if a psu Is rated X watts
then 12vm only gets 80-95% of the wattage
and I never want to go beyond 80% of 12va wattage even with furmark stress
because there are other issues like capacitor ageing, etc as well.

And I know that the psu power is proboably 80-90% of his wall readings.
 
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nextJin

Golden Member
Apr 16, 2009
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Its far from cheap here either mate, but hey, we all need our Crux. :)



Sorry mate? There are three images there, 1 for each. :hmm:

blocked at work :/

I ask because I have an AX750 with a 2600k @ 4600 1.35v and 2 7970s at 1125/1575, 2 SSDs, 2 5400rps HDs, 10 case fans an 3 Antec 920s just wondering how much more I could push it.
 
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BallaTheFeared

Diamond Member
Nov 15, 2010
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blocked at work :/

I ask because I have an AX750 with a 2600k @ 4600 1.35v and 2 7970s at 1125/1575, 2 SSDs, 2 5400rps HDs, 10 case fans an 3 Antec 920s just wondering how much more I could push it.

You're probably already pushing close to the limit, you have a high quality supply so it will go over rated most likely without tripping OVP (to an extent).

If you're at stock volts you probably have a bit of headroom left, but as soon as you start adding voltage and clocks the draw is going to go up higher than your performance return.
 

Eureka

Diamond Member
Sep 6, 2005
3,822
1
81
What is your psu efficiency? Though these are right in line with what I thought it was everybody believes they know better when they don't.

IMO
7970 max oc
2600k at 5.0
a few hdds and ssds
and a few usb devices and extra cooling
650watt quality is what I recommend for a safe and long life, at the least. 550-600 is borderline though and 750 is conservative.

3930k at 5.0
7970 max oc cf
3+hdds
2+ ssds
etc
at least 1000w to be comfortable, minimum, 850 is very very borderline

and with 3 7950s you should ideally do at least 1200+ watts to be safe and not require changing the psu every 1-2 years or even have a miniscule power prob possibility.

And I assume, that if a psu Is rated X watts
then 12vm only gets 80-95% of the wattage
and I never want to go beyond 80% of 12va wattage even with furmark stress
because there are other issues like capacitor ageing, etc as well.

And I know that the psu power is proboably 80-90% of his wall readings.

Except you're talking extreme overclocks which most people don't do, with equipment draw above most users.

Sorry, but you're still overestimating.

i5-3570K @ 4.6 Ghz, 7970 @ 1150/1600, 1 HDD, 1 SSD, 1 ODD, H70, 2 200mm fans, 3 high current 120mm fans, etc. Didn't pull more than 400W from the wall, converted down to 360W after efficiency measurements, during stress testing in Heaven, OCCT, etc.

This is a special case, and even then he only maxed out 550W on 1 GPU. Yet you still recommend a 750W PSU?

For most cases, you're way too high. Sure, you'll need it for an extreme overclocker, but the extreme overclocker on here won't be asking for PSU recommendations, he already knows what he needs for his system. For the average user, you're asking them to fish out nearly double for a PSU which won't ever be used to the max.
 
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Jacky60

Golden Member
Jan 3, 2010
1,123
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XFX 1250W Pro Black Edition.
That said, I am reaching my limits here so will be upgrading soon to the Enermax Max Revo 1500w.

What's the rest of your rig? I have enermax 1250W and was thinking going tri-7950/7970 plus CPU upgrade, looks like my 'future proof' psu maybe isn't. :confused:
 

UNhooked

Golden Member
Jan 21, 2004
1,538
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I have noticed that once you OC the 7970 the power consumption goes through the roof. Currently running at stock speeds on my 7970's else I risk of my trusty 5 year old PSU going up in flames.
 
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RussianSensation

Elite Member
Sep 5, 2003
19,458
765
126
What is your idle system power consumption?
What are your GPU Vcore levels?
What is the total system consumption at full load in Prime95 without any GPUs?

Those #s you posted are very high. My guess is your HD7970s are overvolted beyond 1.174V stock voltage, probably closer to 1.25V. That's what skyrockets their power consumption. The 1900mhz VRAM on all 3 cards is also contributing to this. You could probably drop 200-250W off your system if you dropped the cards to 1.175V at 1150mhz. You would barely lose any performance. Going from 1150mhz to 1235mhz on my 7970 requires a Vcore voltage bump from 1.174V to 1.250V and power consumption goes up 73W at the wall on a Platinum PSU! You have 3 such cards.

I am confident you can find a much better balance of performance / voltages and power consumption.
 
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Eureka

Diamond Member
Sep 6, 2005
3,822
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What is your idle system power consumption?
What are your GPU Vcore levels?
What is the total system consumption at full load in Prime95 without any GPUs?

Those #s you posted are very high. My guess is your HD7970s are overvolted beyond 1.174V stock voltage, probably closer to 1.25V. That's what skyrockets their power consumption. The 1900mhz VRAM on all 3 cards is also contributing to this. You could probably drop 200-250W off your system if you dropped the cards to 1.175V at 1150mhz. You would barely lose any performance. Going from 1150mhz to 1235mhz on my 7970 requires a Vcore voltage bump from 1.174V to 1.250V and power consumption goes up 73W at the wall on a Platinum PSU! You have 3 such cards.

I am confident you can find a much better balance of performance / voltages and power consumption.

I don't think he's going for efficiency here... I think he's peaking for the sake of peaking.
 

chimaxi83

Diamond Member
May 18, 2003
5,649
61
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Except you're talking extreme overclocks which most people don't do, with equipment draw above most users.

Sorry, but you're still overestimating.

i5-3570K @ 4.6 Ghz, 7970 @ 1150/1600, 1 HDD, 1 SSD, 1 ODD, H70, 2 200mm fans, 3 high current 120mm fans, etc. Didn't pull more than 400W from the wall, converted down to 360W after efficiency measurements, during stress testing in Heaven, OCCT, etc.

This is a special case, and even then he only maxed out 550W on 1 GPU. Yet you still recommend a 750W PSU?

For most cases, you're way too high. Sure, you'll need it for an extreme overclocker, but the extreme overclocker on here won't be asking for PSU recommendations, he already knows what he needs for his system. For the average user, you're asking them to fish out nearly double for a PSU which won't ever be used to the max.

Yeah, agreed :thumbsup: that poster routinely posts crap here, like minimum Crossfire/SLI for EVERYTHING, or a big PSU when it's not at all necessary.

Anyway, thanks for your post OP. I'm going Crossfire again, just picked up a 7970 Lightning with Bitcoin money. Going on my XFX Pro 850W. Hope she's enough :p
 

3DVagabond

Lifer
Aug 10, 2009
11,951
204
106
OP, Those figures are huge. What's your CPU and GPU voltages? That 1250W XFX (Same as a Seasonic X series, IIRC?) should run that system easily.
 

Stu @ MSD

Member
Jan 9, 2013
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0
66
What's the rest of your rig? I have enermax 1250W and was thinking going tri-7950/7970 plus CPU upgrade, looks like my 'future proof' psu maybe isn't. :confused:

Morning guys.
To address a few questions at once, my rig in benching mode is as follows:

The system:
Case: Corsair Obsidian 800D
Mobo: Asus Maximus Extreme IV - Z
CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K de-lidded @ 4.725ghz 45x105 with 1.29v
GPU: 3 x Sapphire Radeon 7970's running 1250/1950 (1.29v/1.80v)
RAM: 8GB of Sammy green @ 2520mhz 10-11-10-21 @ 1.65v
SSD's: 1x vertex 4 512GB and 2x Vertex 3 256GB
HDD's: 3x 1TB 7200rpm Seagates
PSU: XFX Pro 1250w Black gamer Edition

Input / Output Items:
Mouse: Logitech G500
Keyboard: Logitech G19
Monitors: 3x BenQ 2420 120hz 3D versions running Eyefinity at 5760x1080.
Audio: Dolby 7.1 system.
Game Controllers: Razer Nostramo Keypad and Thrustmaster T500RS wheel & pedals


Cooling & Monitoring
CPU Block: EK Supreme HF Plexi EN
Radiator internal: EK Coolstream XT 360mm Copper Fins - Single Circuit
Radiator external: Phobya Extreme Supernova 1260mm
Reservoir: XSPC Acrylic Dual 5.25 with pump inside
Pump: Alphacool VPP655 - D5 Pump
Internal Rad Fans: 3 x Scythe Gentle Typhoon 1850RPM - AP15s.
External Rad Fans: 4x 200mm Coolermaster Magaflow silents
Case Fans: 3x 140mm Noisetakers. (1 in, 1 out, 1 HDD bay.)
Coolant: EK EKoolant clear
Monitor and control: Aquaero 5 pro Computer.

Image gallery here.
http://bit.ly/U9leYV


I have noticed that once you OC the 7970 the power consumption goes through the roof. Currently running at stock speeds on my 7970's else I risk of my trusty 5 year old PSU going up in flames.

Indeed. I will take some readings later of her in normal non overclocked gaming mode. These were taken on my benching drive so everythings setup for max power and stability. Once you take these 7970's up in voltage the current increases exponentially. It is far from linear.


I am confident you can find a much better balance of performance / voltages and power consumption.

I am not looking for efficiency mate, just performance. This topic was purely to generate awareness and discussion as I am sure many people have absolutely no idea how much power a rig can draw from the wall.
 
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RussianSensation

Elite Member
Sep 5, 2003
19,458
765
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GPU: 3 x Sapphire Radeon 7970's running 1250/1950 (1.29v/1.80v)
RAM: 8GB of Sammy green @ 2520mhz 10-11-10-21 @ 1.65v

I am not looking for efficiency mate, just performance. This topic was purely to generate awareness and discussion as I am sure many people have absolutely no idea how much power a rig can draw from the wall.

Your title should be changed. You aren't measuring the power consumption of HD7970's in CF. It's the entire system loaded with tons of fans, hard drives, watercooling and some of those components are overvolted to very high levels which is why the power consumption is so high. You also haven't isolated the power consumption of the 3x 7970s. We have no idea how much power they use since we don't have:

1) Idle system power consumption;
2) Total system power consumption in Prime 95 / LinX with the CPU loaded.

I think you can increase the educational value of your post if you show 3 scenarios:

1) Based case = Everything at stock (including CPU, GPUs, DDR3)
2) Balanced scenario = GPUs at 1.174V (what Max OC you got), and reasonable voltage boost on eco green and the CPU (CPU looks fine actually)
3) Raw power scenario = max overclocked like you have it.

Then run some benchmarks in a couple games / Unigine Heaven 3-4 / Metro 2033, etc so we can see the trade-off of Performance vs. Overvolting vs. Power consumption.

Then it will be much easier to see what happens to the power consumption of the entire system as you start overclocking and overvolting components to the max. I could put 1.25V into my 7970 and performance in games barely increases but power goes up 73W. Most people do not accept the trade-off of 70W of power increase for only a 5% performance increase. We don't know at the moment how much performance you would trade-off if you downclocked those GPUs to 1150mhz @ 1.174V (stock). Is it worth it? What's the reduction in power consumption? I think that would be educational and informative to people who are just getting into overclocking/exploring overvolting. :p

I realize that you are going for max performance but most high-end PC enthusiasts already running HD7970x3 / GTX680 Tri-SLI and overvolted them to say 1.29V/1.80V like you have are already experienced users, which means they could care less about the power consumption numbers since they have accepted that trade-off for max performance. For the less informed who are just starting overclocking or want to know how overvolting adversely affects power consumption, a Base Case and a Balance Case would actually help them see what's really happening.

Love your pics/system. Looks amazing. :thumbsup:
 
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Stu @ MSD

Member
Jan 9, 2013
47
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Your title should be changed. You aren't measuring the power consumption of HD7970's in CF. It's the entire system loaded with tons of fans, hard drives, watercooling and some of those components are overvolted to very high levels which is why the power consumption is so high. You also haven't isolated the power consumption of the 3x 7970s. We have no idea how much power they use since we don't have:

I very clearly said this topic was aimed at benchers mate (twice in fact) and by default they are usually overclockers and will have watercooling and fans. I even made it clear these readings are taken while benchmarking and also mentioned they far exceed my gaming figures.


I think you can increase the educational value of your post if you show 3 scenarios:

1) Based case = Everything at stock (including CPU, GPUs, DDR3)
2) Balanced scenario = GPUs at 1.174V (what Max OC you got), and reasonable voltage boost on eco green and the CPU (CPU looks fine actually)
3) Raw power scenario = max overclocked like you have it.

Then run some benchmarks in a couple games / Unigine Heaven 3-4 / Metro 2033, etc so we can see the trade-off of Performance vs. Overvolting vs. Power consumption.

I might do just that if i find myself with a spare week. :) LOL

For the less informed who are just starting overclocking or want to know how overvolting adversely affects power consumption, a Base Case and a Balance Case would actually help them see what's really happening.

It would be quite interesting indeed.
I will give some thought how best to approach it. :)
 

BallaTheFeared

Diamond Member
Nov 15, 2010
8,115
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I don't see much value in the stock/slightly overclocked area, he's running a expensive waterloop which is no doubt helping to reduce power consumption (over same clocks/voltage on air).

Any information which can be garnered from his post is already there, overclocked, water cooled... None of which are entry level knowledge points.

(imo)
 

RussianSensation

Elite Member
Sep 5, 2003
19,458
765
126
I don't see much value in the stock/slightly overclocked area, he's running a expensive waterloop which is no doubt helping to reduce power consumption (over same clocks/voltage on air).

You are saying you don't want to know how much power he is wasting for 5-6% performance increase? Maybe others want to know. What's wrong with more information? If the OP already created the thread, we can try to get more value out of what already is an excellent start!

Maybe the OP himself will be surprised that he was trading off so much power for a very limited bump in performance if his GPUs end up perfectly stable at 1150-1175mhz at 1.175-1.85V?

Any information which can be garnered from his post is already there, overclocked, water cooled... None of which are entry level knowledge points.
(imo)

Really? So you are saying we can't get any more valuable information? Don't you think people who end up being surprised that their rig draws a lot more of power when overvolted than they thought will then proceed to ask the next question: "What could be the optimal balance of performance, overvolting and power consumption?" If they don't care about this, they surely wouldn't care at all how much max overvolted 7970s in Tri-Fire are drawing.

5850_plines.png


I guess you have special knowledge of HD7970 silicon that you could tell us right off the bat what the hockey stick projection is in power wasted going from 1175mhz to 1250mhz and bumping the voltage to 1.29V? This is way more interesting to see for us overclockers. Anyone can increase voltage from 1.175V to 1.3V for a small GPU core bump. That doesn't tell us anything. All it tells us we just destroyed that GPU's efficiency and we should be buying a 1250-1600W power supply at Newegg. You already knew that. So exactly is the learning lesson? Looking at specific efficiency curve of a particular GPU setup is actually new information with more pertinent details.

Often very small bumps GPU clocks can require exponential voltage increases. These increases can skyrocket power consumption of a single GPU with little to no change in real world gaming performance. This would be no different than if you loaded up your CPU with 1.5V for a 100mhz bump.
oc_graph.png


core-i7-950-1.png

t9.png


I personally find this type of information extremely useful.
 
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BallaTheFeared

Diamond Member
Nov 15, 2010
8,115
0
71
I don't think he spent ~$2000 on cards and cooling for a 10% overclock, power be damned.

But if the OP wants to optimize his setup, he should probably go back to ~900Mhz, since the jump from 7970 to GHz cost more power than performance was gained, if that's your point.

If anything I think the OP should go higher, but that's just me! :)