We have recently revamped our GPU power consumption testing. Previously we would measure the total system power draw with each graphics card installed. Given that the rest of the components did not change, this gave us an idea of the relative power consumption of each graphics card, but we could not be more specific than that.
Now, however, thanks to Cybenetics Labs and its Powenetics Project, we are able to measure the power consumption of the graphics card alone, giving much more precise and accurate data. Essentially, this works by installing sensors in the PCIe power cables, as well as the PCIe slot itself thanks to a special riser card. This data is recorded using specialist software provided by Cybenetics Labs and given it polls multiple times a second (between 6 and 8 times a second, based on my observations) we can track the power consumption in incredible detail over any given amount of time.
You can read more about the Powenetics Project over HERE.
As with previous testing, a reading under load comes from running the 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra stress test 20 times. An idle reading comes after leaving the system on the Windows desktop for 30 minutes. This stress test (20 runs) produces approximately 4000 data entries in the Powenetics software, which we can then export to an Excel file and analyse further. Here we present the average continuous power consumption of each graphics card across the entire 20 run test.
We know power consumption of AMD cards is typically higher than their Nvidia counterparts, but it is still fascinating to get the exact breakdown, looking at the graphics card-only power draw. This RX 580 is essentially on par with Nvidia’s GTX 1080 Ti – despite the latter card being significantly faster in games – and we can obviously see the Vega 64 card right at the top, pulling 311W.