To test power consumption today we are using a Keithley Integra unit and we measure power consumption from the VGA card inputs, not the system wide drain. The best way to get maximum load results is by using Furmark, and even though it is not indicative of a real world situation it shows the limits the card can theoretically demand. The ‘gaming’ results are measured when playing Crysis Warhead and is a more valuable result to take from this.
Now at least we know why the Corsair AX850W was running very hot when trying to power a system with two XFX Black Edition HD5970s boards in CFX. The cards alone are taking around 592 watts when running Furmark. 408watts when gaming is not that bad however considering the staggering performance levels. It is worth noting that the XFX cards consume slightly less power than the ATI reference board. Clearly a well designed product from XFX.