True to their word, NVIDIA’s GTX 280 uses about 20 watts less power at idle than the 9800 GTX card does and about 60 watts less than the 9800 GX2; it runs neck and neck with the 3870 X2. At load the GTX 280 is still using less than the 9800 GX2 but considerably more than the 9800 GTX – considering the performance gaps in most areas that’s acceptable. Note that the 3870 X2 still uses more power as well.
The GTX 260 uses the same power at idle and 20 watts less under load in our testing. Looking at the SLI configuration the pair of GTX 280s uses nearly as much power as three 9800 GTXs under load – 542 watts. Notice though that the two GT200 chips use much less power at idle than the three (or even two) 9800 GTXs.