Power Consumption, Temperatures and Noise

With all the power efficiency improvement talk that NVIDIA has been pushing on us since learning about the new Kepler GPU, we were eager to see how the actual power consumption actually turned out.

Based on our testing, the GTX 690 uses somewhere around 150 watts more power than the GTX 680 – a result that doesn’t completely correspond with what NVIDIA told us to expect.  NVIDIA does recommend a 650 watt power supply and based on what we have seen that seems adequate as long as you are getting a high end unit.  By comparison the GTX 590 uses about 50 watts more power while the HD 6990 uses about 10 watts less – though neither card comes close in performance.

In our multi-card testing, the GTX 680s in SLI use about 30 watts more power than the GTX 690 thanks to only needing to power a single card.  Idle power consumption is down a few watts as well.  Compared to the HD 7970s in CrossFire, the GTX 690 uses 110 watts LESS POWER and that is why I think AMD is going to have difficulty producing a card that can keep up with the GTX 690 in performance and efficiency.  

All of the coolers seem pretty reasonable in our testing though we like the fact that the dual-GPU GTX 690 is actually running the coolest.

I was also pleased to see that the GTX 690 doesn’t generate much more noise than a single GTX 680 and in fact is MUCH quieter than a pair of GTX 680s.  Obviously the cooler and fan design of the Gemini board is top notch.

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