Power Consumption For this test we hooked up our power supply to a UPM power meter that will log the power consumption of the whole system twice every second. In order to stress the GPU as much as possible we once again use the Batch Render test in 3DMark06 and let it run for 30 minutes to determine the peak power consumption while letting the card sit at a stable Windows desktop for 30 minutes to determine the peak idle power consumption. We have also included several other tests as well. Please note that after extensive testing, we have found that simply plugging in a power meter to a wall outlet or UPS will NOT give you accurate power consumption numbers due to slight changes in the input voltage. Thus we use a Tripp-Lite 1800W line conditioner between the 120V outlet and the power meter.
Letís get right to it; the GTX 295ís idle power consumption is simply phenomenal even though it does stay above that of the 65nm GT 200-series cards. The peak load numbers we received puts this card above below the HD 4870 X2 in terms of efficiency which is definitely good news. That being said, we would not recommend you used anything under a good 650W power supply if you are running a GTX 295. If you choose to run two for some quad SLI action, we would suggest a 950W or higher unit.
Game Power Consumption
When it comes to actual gaming power consumption, the GTX 295 offers up a mixed bag of tricks to say the least. The high framerate it gives us in Dead Space proves to be a double edged sword since power consumption goes up as a result. Meanwhile, it trades blows with the HD 4870 X2 in other tests. All in all this is a bit disappointing considering Nvidia claimed their new card was more efficient than the competition across the board