Asus EN9600GT Silent Edition Graphics Card

Graphics Cards
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TEST RESULTS CONTINUED

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 on our test system. 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 system power under CPUBurn with just the integrated graphics is subtracted from the system power under CPUBurn with the add-on card, we obtain the increase in idle power of the add-on card. (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 ATITool 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 ATITool should not skew the results, since the CPU was running at full load in both systems.

Power Consumption Comparison: HD 3850 vs. HD 3870 vs. 9600GT
GPU State
HD 3850
HD 3870
9600GT
AC
DC (Est.)
AC
DC (Est.)
AC
DC (Est.)
Idle
+13W
+11W
+20W
+17W
+30W
+26W
Load
+64W
55W
+84W
72W
+76W
65W*

The Geforce 9600GT did not come even close to the Radeon HD3850 or 3870 in idle power. When the card is sitting around doing nothing but rendering a 2D desktop, there's a fair bit of wattage being wasted.

At load, the power demand of the 9600GT was right smack in the middle between the two ATI cards.

(*Since our results for the baseline system were arrived at with the system fan at 7V, we used the higher power consumption reading to estimate the 9600GT's power draw of 65W. With the system fan at 12V, when the card had better cooling, the power draw was only 59W.)

Video Playback

The EN9600GT Silent's video playback capability was excellent. It clearly had lower CPU usage during playback compared to the HD 3850/3870. Due to the HD 3850's exceptionally low power consumption, however, overall system power consumption was still lower than with the 9600GT. The more power hungry HD 3870 also edged the 9600GT for lower system power during video playback.

Video Playback Comparison: HD 3850 vs. HD 3870
Video Clip
HD 3850
HD 3870
EN9600GT
Mean CPU
Peak CPU
AC Power
Mean CPU
Peak CPU
AC Power
Mean CPU
Peak CPU
AC Power
H.264
3%
8%
~98W
3%
9%
~105W
2%
7%
~113W
MPEG-2
No Data
No Data
14%
24%
~118W
WMV3
28%
38%
~109W
27%
41%
~118W
15%
30%
~121W
WVC1
55%
80%
~125W
50%
78%
~130W
28%
46%
~131W

HDMI Output

The HDMI output did not function properly with out test system. The HDMI signal that was sent to our BenQ FP94VW was zoomed in and scaled incorrectly, even though the driver was set to the proper resolution of 1440x900. To enable HDMI audio, an S/PDIF cable must be connected from the graphics card to an internal S/PDIF header on the motherboard; this is a feature that's lacking in our test platform motherboard, so we were not able to test HDMI audio.



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