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Need help to understand power consumption

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I have been looking at 3 cards for my system, although I am not sure whether I completely understand what these cards could mean for my monthly power bill. Here are the cards and the respective peak watts of the system under load (and in idle state).

MSI 7970 Lightning
- Load: 412 (Idle: 164)

MSI 680 Lightning
- Load: 363 (Idle: 155)

MSI 670 Power edition
- Load: 329 (Idle: 155)

These numbers were taken from Hardware Canucks. All three cards were tested in an identical system:

Processor: Intel i7 3930K @ 4.5GHz
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 32GB @ 1866MHz
Motherboard: ASUS P9X79 WS
Cooling: Corsair H80
SSD: 2x Corsair Performance Pro 256GB
Power Supply: Corsair AX1200
Monitor: Samsung 305T / 3x Acer 235Hz
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate N x64 SP1

My system is different, as you can see in my sig rig; I assume my system uses less power when running either one of these cards.

Now, can anyone help me understand how the difference in power consumption of each of these cards affects my monthly bill? I have also read that the 7970 is a power hungry card but does it really make a big difference if the card uses 49 watts more under load (see above 680 vs 7970 Lightning)?

Please, bear in mind that I am not asking for advice on choosing a video card; I simple want to get a better understanding of what the difference in power consumption means and how much it possibly could affect my wallet.
Edited by Sevada88 - 3/30/13 at 3:58am
post #2 of 3
Assuming you're not going to be folding or gaming 24/7, the difference from your current bill will be negligible. A fully loaded GPU will draw the equivalent of 3-4 60w light bulbs. Game in the dark and you'll break even. biggrin.gif
post #3 of 3
The time your PC is running at idle and the time you spend gaming counts. at idle both cards are very close. if you calculate 100 hrs of idle and 20 hrs of gaming per week your HD 7970 PC will consume

10w x 100h + 50w x 20h = 2000 watt hour of extra power = 2 kwh. For a month 8kwh extra power.

Electricity is charged in kwh . so

wattage x hours used ÷ 1000 x price per kWh = cost of electricity

1 kwh unit of electricity seems to cost 12 cents (see pg2 of document below) in US. So even in a month you are looking at a dollar extra power bill. thumb.gif

http://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/current_year/may2012.pdf
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