Energy consumptionWe measured the energy consumption of the graphics card on its own. We took these readings at idle, in 3D Mark 06 and Furmark. Note that we use a version of Furmark that isn’t detected by the stress test energy consumption limitation mechanism put into place by NVIDIA in the GeForce GTX 500 drivers.
At idle, all the GeForces tested draw a similar amount of power and are very well managed.
In load we measured the GTX 550 Ti a good deal higher than the GeForce GTS 450 (between 24 and 29% higher). Note that while the Asus model is overclocked, the Sparkle Calibre that we’ve included in the graph is too. This brings power draw on the GeForce GTX 550 Ti close to that of the GeForce GTX 460, giving a big advantage to the Radeons which use much less energy.
We put the cards in an Antec Sonata 3 casing and measured noise at idle and in load. We placed the sonometer 60 cm from the casing.
Asus has calibrated its DirectCU cooling system pretty well, giving a card that’s quiet at idle and not at all noisy in load.