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Can GTX580 really deliver everything using less than 290w ?

KitGuru has been scanning the airwaves, intercepting messages all over the place. We have already delivered 2 incisive articles today already on the GTX580, and there are plenty more to come it seems. To be honest, we’ve seen sieves that retain water longer than Taiwanese contractor can hold a trade secret. Still, their loss is your gain, right?  KitGuru is all about buying advice. So here’s some more that you might find fascinating.

When the early GTX480 test results came to light, one of the most striking things was the power consumption. In a world where green issues colour almost every agenda, the first Fermi cards seemed horrendously inefficient. It made most professional IT journalists draw breath.

GTX580 should be with you next week at £429, but what will it cost to run in terms of electricity?

When Tom Petersen, technical director at NVIDIA, said back in July “GeForce GTX 480… in Quad SLI… Put simply, it rocks!” it made many of us wonder how he intended to supply the power needed by such a solution. It seemed that four of these cards alone would be enough to need a 1500w PSU, which is about as big as PSUs get in the current market. And that’s before you power the mainboard, drives and overclocked CPU.

So nVidia quoted 250w, while some sites recorded 30-40w higher.

Fortunately or not, KitGuru Labs sit close to a massively powerful generator station. We're GTX580 Quad SLi ready!

Here’s the interesting part, let’s see what you make of it.

nVidia’s partners in China are being told that the power envelope for the GTX480 will be under 290w.

Will GTX 580 be able to hit under the 290w and stay there, or will it actually need 300W+ to run under load?

KitGuru says: With a year longer to work on design efficiency, you would hope that nVidia has got its gorging power fetish under control. Delivering the fastest graphics chip on the planet under 290w at maximum load would be some feat. Churning through 300w or more would put some stress on the cooling solutions required. Can you imagine 4x GTX580 cards in Quad SLI burning up over 1200w?  Hot and sticky? Sure. Highly desirable anyway? Definitely!

Get hot and bothered or keep your cool with a quick comment below.

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  • Hank

    reported 20% faster than GTX480, can they keep the power down? i doubt it.

  • Frank

    Cant say I really care, im waiting on the 6900’s to see how they look.

  • anthony256

    But the NVIDIA GTX480 has a maximum board power of 250W!! How dare it go any higher, it doesn’t use any more than that according to various people online…

    We all know it uses more, and I can’t wait to see the GTX580 release, because it’s coming out before the HD6970 – it won’t be able to compare itself to the HD6970, where the HD6970 reviews will compare that GPU against the GTX580.


  • 654-type

    “nVidia quoted 250w, while sites like Bit-Tech measured ~380w. That’s some difference….blablabla … I haven´t idea about I´m talking … blalbla”

    Moron!, This power draw of Bit-tech is about the ALL THE SYSTEM without monitor, not about the card alone!!!

    Bit-tech says:

    “Power consumption at idle was the highest we’ve seen from a single GPU card at 186W SYSTEM POWER DRAW, 18W more than the HD 5870. At load though it entered a whole new dimension for a single GPU card sucking down a massive 382W while looping the canyon flight demo in 3DMark 06. That’s a full 106W more than the Radeon HD 5870 in the same test, 30W more than the dual GPU Radeon HD 5970 and only 6W less than the dual GPU GeForce GTX 295!”

    What a Pro!!! (You must learn to read… and understand WHAT you read. ¬¬)

    Fanboy/amateur writes articles for fanboys/amateurs! And you are…

  • Zenskas

    Umm the 480 does not use 380W…
    I think you guys might be confusing the actual card draw to TOTAL SYSTEM draw. Show me one review that has a CARD draw of over 300W? The max most reviews measured from a single card was generally no more than 280W 😉
    So the 580 will probably use no more than about 270W, well under 100W less that what you guys reckon the 480 uses…

  • Hi Guys, It seems Faith has misread the bit tech article and i should have spotted it yesterday. Our own rating of the GTX480 power consumption recorded in our reviews is accurate http://www.kitguru.net/components/graphic-cards/zardon/zotac-gtx-480-amp-graphics-card-review/12/ …… I will append some of the text now. I am also fairly positive that the GTX580 power drain will be lower than the GTX480. But its always fun to get the views of other writers………

    Sorry if our guys caused any of you to blow a gasket – count to ten, works wonders.

  • Tim

    Its actually easy to misread Bit Tech at times as they dont always list their methods very clearly. If anyone wants to see great journalism, check out their review of the Noctua NH D14 cooler – worst review ive ever read.

  • Vince

    Zenskas – TechPowerUp

    Under Furmark gtx480 hits 320W (thats just the card, not the whole system)
    For comparison 5970 hits 304W and 5870 hits 212W