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ATi Radeon HD 3870 in the test: A new name alone is not enough

ATi Radeon HD 3870 in the test: A new name alone is not enough

Power consumption

For the measurements of the power consumption, a standard consumption monitor, which you can also buy, is required can borrow from the local electricity supplier. The total power consumption of the test system is measured. The division between idle and load operation also applies here. The latter is simulated by using 3DMark06 with a resolution of 1600x1200 as well as 4x anti-aliasing and 16x anisotropic filter.

Power consumption
  • Idle:
    • ATi Radeon HD 2400 XT
      158
    • ATi Radeon HD 2600 XT (3)
      163
    • Nvidia GeForce 7600 GT
      167
    • ATi Radeon HD 3870
      167
    • Nvidia GeForce 8500 GT
      169
    • Nvidia GeForce 8600 GT
      172
    • ATi Radeon X1650 XT
      172
    • ATi Radeon X1950 Pro
      174
    • Nvidia GeForce 8600 GTS
      176
    • Nvidia GeForce 7900 GS
      176
    • Nvidia GeForce 7950 GT
      177
    • ATi Radeon X1950 XTX
      181
    • ATi Radeon HD 2600 XT (4)
      187
    • Nvidia GeForce 7900 GTX
      188
    • Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT
      196
    • ATi Radeon 2600 XT X2 (3rd )
      200
    • Nvidia GeForce 7950GX2
      209
    • Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTS 320
      213
    • Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTS
      218
    • ATi Radeon HD 2900 XT
      229
    • Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTX
      233
    • Nvidia GeForce 8800 Ultra
      253
  • Last:
    • ATi Radeon HD 2400 XT
      179
    • Nvidia GeForce 8500 GT
      182
    • Nvidia GeForce 7600 GT
      193
    • Nvidia GeForce 8600 GT
      203
    • ATi Radeon HD 2600 XT (3)
      205
    • Nvidia GeForce 7900 GS
      206
    • Nvidia GeForce 8600 GTS
      209
    • Nvidia GeForce 7950 GT
      216
    • ATi Radeon HD 2600 XT (4)
      217
    • ATi Radeon X1650 XT
      221
    • ATi Radeon X1950 Pro
      238
    • Nvidia GeForce 7900 GTX
      243
    • Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT
      248
    • ATi Radeon HD 3870
      252
    • Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTS 320
      264
    • Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTS
      267
    • ATi Radeon 2600 XT X2 (3)
      269
    • Nvidia GeForce 7950 GX2
      281
    • ATi Radeon X1950XTX
      290
    • Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTX
      300
    • Nvidia GeForce 8800 Ultra
      334
    • ATi Radeon HD 2900 XT
      351

ATi promised a very good energy saving function for the RV670 GPU in the run-up to the product presentation. While big promises in the world of graphics cards are often more hot air than reality, ATi has actually not promised too much this time around with the Radeon HD 3000 series. We were able to measure a power consumption of just 167 watts for the entire system under Windows with the ATi Radeon HD 3870. This is not just an excellent reading in itself. In addition, for the first time, a graphics card that is located in the performance segment does not need more power than a low-end graphics card that comes with significantly fewer functional units. Undoubtedly a good performance! Compared to the Radeon HD 3870, the GeForce 8800 GT from Nvidia draws 29 watts more power from the socket. For what?

However, the power consumption under load shows that ATi only boils with water. Because the energy saving mechanisms no longer work there. With a power consumption of 252 watts, the Radeon HD 3870 is just above the GeForce 8800 GT, which requires 248 watts (attention, the entire computer is meant here without a monitor). At this point it becomes clear again that the Radeon HD 2900 XT was and is a real power monster. For less power than the Radeon HD 3870, the graphics card draws a whopping 100 watts more from the mains! Power savers who don't want to do without high performance should definitely take a look at ATi's Radeon HD 3000 cards.

On the next page: Overclockability

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