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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!

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