The Test and Power

For our test setup, we are using two different 2x x16 ASUS boards: one based on NVIDIA and the other ATI core logic. For all tests with NVIDIA GPUs we used the NVIDIA motherboard, and for all tests with ATI GPUs we employed the ATI based motherboard. All power tests were performed using the same motherboard (the RD580 board).

In an attempt to keep everything readable and manageable, we have split up the high end and mid range comparisons. Our high end parts will be compared at 1280x1024, 1600x1200, 1920x1440, and 2048x1536. The mid range comparison will look at 1024x768, 1280x1024, and 1600x1200. All SLI and CrossFire tests will be included with the high end data.

Test Setup:
ASUS A8N32 NVIDIA nForce 4 X16 SLI Motherboard
ASUS A8R32 ATI RD580 Motherboard
AMD Athlon 64 FX-57
2GB OCZ 2.5:3:3:8 DDR400 RAM
160GB Seagate 7200.7 Hard Drive
600W OCZ PowerStream PSU

Drivers:
NVIDIA ForceWare 84.17 (Beta)
ATI Catalyst 6.2

For power consumption, we once again take a look at the power draw of the system at the wall using our trusty Kill-A-Watt. Power load was measured while running the 3dmark06 feature tests as they tend to provide something near a worst case power load. What we see in games is usually a handful of watts lower than this. For idle power, we don't see that much difference between the high end cards, and the 7900 GT is similar in power to the 6800 GS. The 7600 GT seems to be on par with the X1600 XT for idle power.

Idle Power

When it comes to load, the new NVIDIA parts simply clean up. The performance per watt leader in this contest is hands down NVIDIA. The 7600 GT and 7900 GT both come in at a lower power than the 6800 GS and the 7900 GTX pulls the same wattage as the much lower clocked 7800 GTX.

Load Power

The Competition 7900 GT: Just Another 7800 GTX?
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  • Regs - Thursday, March 9, 2006 - link

    Or am I going to have to look for myself? Im too lazy Derek. Reply
  • DerekWilson - Thursday, March 9, 2006 - link

    well... since the 7900 GT performs the same as the 7800 GTX ... and the 7800 GT performance relative to the 7800 GTX is well documented :-)

    You're right though, it might have been good to make this more clear.
    Reply
  • Regs - Thursday, March 9, 2006 - link

    So I suspect a 5-10% difference going from a 7800GT to a 7900GT. Reply
  • Phantronius - Thursday, March 9, 2006 - link

    Derek, why are only the first graphs hightling the 7900' series in orange while the rest are totally blue? It makes it hard to compare them to the 7800 series. Reply
  • DerekWilson - Thursday, March 9, 2006 - link

    sorry, we've had some problems with our graphign engine today -- I will make sure to update the colors on the rest of the graphs so they are more readable.

    my plan is to make the new single cards orange and their sli counterparts green.

    I understand that it is a lot of data in one place, but I hope this helps.

    Thanks,
    Derek Wilson
    Reply
  • coldpower27 - Thursday, March 9, 2006 - link


    I though sites reported that the die size of the R580 is supposed to be 313mm2 not 353mm2 as stated in the article???
    Reply
  • APKasten - Thursday, March 9, 2006 - link

    Man, I've been reading this sight for like two years now and they always find a way to make me feel like a noob. Can anyone tell me what 'the IC' is? Didn't see the long form in the article. Reply
  • DerekWilson - Thursday, March 9, 2006 - link

    Sorry ...

    Integrated Circuit.

    It is the term for what is commonly refered to as a "chip"
    Reply
  • APKasten - Thursday, March 9, 2006 - link

    Oh man that's embarassing...for some reason I just couldn't figure that. Sometimes the brain just doesn't work right. Reply
  • 4AcesIII - Thursday, March 9, 2006 - link

    Not an ATI fan anyways but it does seem that these boys favor ATI in almost every review. Now having had experience with ATI it makes me wonder how they can sleep at night knowing what sort of reputation, and consistant reputation ATI has for absolute crap software/drivers. Some of the TV cards they've put out aren't supported by themselves, left to 3rd party software and powervcr at that. Both ATI and Nvidia have good hardware the huge difference between them is implimentation via drivers and software. Nvidia can do it, ATI can't and they've proven it over time. Nvidia drivers are compatible with more of their older cards until you go back to 2mb TNT cards. ATI wasn't able to do this. I don't find Anandtech impartial anymore, they don't put out anywhere near the amount or quality of articles they used to and there's some plagerism claims about them floating around the web. Because of all this I only keep this link for amusement it's not considered a serious source of info anymore. Reply

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