Power Consumption and Temperatures
Power consumption is not really as important on high-end consumer graphics cards as more users are comfortable with using up lots of juice to get their gaming experience where they want it to be. Still, looking at the relative power consumption of the GPUs presents interesting information on how the parts compare in terms of compute efficiency.
Both the new Radeon HD 7950 and the HD 7970 show the same idle power consumption that is about 20 watts lower than that of the GeForce GTX 580 and even 10+ watts lower than that of the Cayman-based Radeon HD 6970. For peak power consumption the Radeon HD 7950 3GB draws 56 watts fewer than the HD 7970, falling in line with power expectations based on AMD’s estimates. Even more impressive is how much less power the HD 7950 uses compared to NVIDIA’s GTX 580 while performing better – a testament to the 28nm design process that AMD is the first to adopt.
Along with the lower power consumption comes a lowering of temperature for the HD 7950 compared to the both the HD 7970 and of course the Fermi-based GTX 580. Again because we will see retail cards NOT use this same cooler we will have to wait and see how the coolers vendors use compare.