bit-tech.net

Gigabyte Radeon HD 4850 1GB (GV-R485MC-1GH)

Power Consumption

On top of our graphics performance testing, we’ve also measured the power consumption of the tested graphics card at both idle and load. For this we used the same systems that we have used for our 3D performance testing.

For our idle testing, we left the cards idling on the desktop for ten minutes, recording the average draw at the wall socket. For load testing, we used our benchmark routine from Crysis in DirectX 10 mode and measured the peak power consumption throughout the benchmark. We tested the cards in a number of other scenarios and this proved to be the most intensive in all cases, so you can consider this to be a worst-case scenario.

Bear in mind that we have disabled all CPU-related power management options in the motherboard's BIOS so that we can highlight exactly how well the GPU's power management features are working (or not).

Idle Power Consumption

Windows Vista Desktop (Aero Enabled)

  • Gigabyte Radeon HD 4850 1GB
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 260
  • ATI Radeon HD 4850
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 280
  • BFG Tech GeForce GTX 260 OCX Maxcore
  • ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2
  • Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT
  • ATI Radeon HD 4870 1GB
  • Nvidia GeForce 9800 GTX+
  • ATI Radeon HD 4870 512MB
  • ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2
  • 170.0
  • 182.0
  • 182.0
  • 189.0
  • 190.0
  • 194.0
  • 194.0
  • 201.0
  • 202.0
  • 219.0
  • 223.0
0
50
100
150
200
250
Watts (lower is better) - Average Reading

Loaded Power Consumption

Crysis DX10 at 1680x1050 0xAA 0xAF

  • Gigabyte Radeon HD 4850 1GB
  • Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT
  • ATI Radeon HD 4850
  • Nvidia GeForce 9800 GTX+
  • ATI Radeon HD 4870 1GB
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 260
  • ATI Radeon HD 4870 512MB
  • BFG Tech GeForce GTX 260 OCX Maxcore
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 280
  • ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2
  • ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2
  • 273.0
  • 285.0
  • 295.0
  • 320.0
  • 323.0
  • 326.0
  • 333.0
  • 349.0
  • 364.0
  • 387.0
  • 483.0
0
100
200
300
400
500
Watts (lower is better) - Average Reading

We poked a bit of fun at Gigabyte's Ultra Durable 2 technology earlier on in the review, but for once the marketing actually seems to pay off in practice. The reductions in both idle and loaded power consumption are, without a doubt, impressive - the custom-designed PCB has definitely paid off in this case.

Of course, some of the gains could be attributed to a more mature manufacturing process, but both 12W at idle and 22W at load are significant enough gains to make us believe that Ultra Durable 2 is having at least some impact on proceedings - it's just impossible for us to measure exactly how much of an impact without desoldering the GPU from Gigabyte's board and attaching it to a 4850 reference design PCB. Maybe one day we'll get crazy enough and do just that, heh.