HIS HD Radeon 5870 iCooler V Turbo

Graphics Cards
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POWER

The power consumption of an add-on video card can be estimated by comparing the total system power draw with and without the card installed. Our results were derived thus:

1. Power consumption of the graphics card at idle - When CPUBurn is run on a system, the video card is not stressed at all, and stays in idle mode. This is true whether the video card is integrated or an add-on PCIe 16X device. Hence, when the power consumption of the base system under CPUBurn is subtracted from the power consumption of the same test with the graphics card installed, we obtain the increase in idle power of the add-on card over the integrated graphics chip (Intel GMA950). (The actual idle power of the add-on card cannot be derived, because the integrated graphics does draw some power — we'd guess no more than a watt or two.)

2. Power consumption of the graphics card under load - The power draw of the system is measured with the add-on video card, with CPUBurn and FurMark running simultaneously. Then the power of the baseline system (with integrated graphics) running just CPUBurn is subtracted. The difference is the load power of the add-on card. (If you want to nitpick, the 1~2W power of the integrated graphics at idle should be added to this number.) Any load on the CPU from FurMark should not skew the results, since the CPU was running at full load in both systems.

Both results are scaled by the efficiency of the power supply (tested here) to obtain a final estimate of the DC power consumption.

Estimated Power Consumption Comparison (DC)
Card
Idle
Load (ATITool)
Load (FurMark)
Sparkle GTS 250 1GB
22W
87W
124W
PowerColor HD 5850 1GB
21W
78W
132W
ATI HD 4870 1GB
67W
121W
134W
Asus GTX 260 896MB
35W
122W
145W
HIS HD 4890 Turbo 1GB
71W
124W
149W
HIS HD 5870 Turbo 1GB
23W
109W
215W

By our estimates, the HIS 5870 Turbo requires a massive 215W when being stressed to the limit using FurMark, making it far away the most power hungry card we've come across. On the bright side, like other members of the HD 5000 series, the 5870 has very low idle power requirements.

Video Playback

Test Results: Video Playback
Test State
PowerColor HD Radeon 5850
HIS HD Radeon 5870 Turbo
Avg.
CPU
Avg. DC Power*
Avg.
CPU
Avg. DC Power*
Rush Hour
(1080p H.264)
5%
+25W
5%
+28W
Coral Reef
(WMV-HD)
27%
+44W
28%
+40W
Spaceship
(1080p x264)
3%
+22W
3%
+25W
*compared to idle

As the 5870 has similar idle power as the 5850 and the same UVD 2.0 chip, video playback was almost identical between the two cards, both in terms of CPU utilization and power draw. Like the 5850, it exhibited an odd quirk during our WMV-HD clip. The HIS 5870 Turbo has clock/memory frequencies of 157/300 MHz when idle, 875/1225 MHz on load, and 400/900 MHz when UVD is doing its thing. During WMV-HD playback, it continually hopped between these three states rather than standing firm at 400/900 MHz like the other two clips. This is accounts for some of the difference in power consumption.


GPU-Z: Clock speed irregularities during WMV-HD playback.



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