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[TR] The cost of graphics card power use

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
A week ago, we published an article exploring today's graphics cards from a value perspective, mixing our extensive benchmark results with pricing data from online retailers. Shortly after publication, forum regular Dragmor suggested we factor power consumption into the equation, since more power-hungry cards tend to imply heftier power bills. A couple of days later, he decided to take matters into his own hands and posted his own result on our forums.
Dragmor describes his methodology as such:
I based usage on 6 hours idle and 2 hours load per day. I think this is a decent usage model for a gamer. Some days the PC would be off, some days lots of web browsing and some days lots of gaming. The power values for the cards were taken from Xbit labs since they provide the values for the cards by themselves. I couldn't find the numbers for the 8800 Ultra on Xbit so I used TR's numbers and Xbit's numbers from the other cards to take away the rest of TR's systems power.
His numbers cover nine cards, and they paint a pretty insightful picture. AMD's Radeon HD 3850 costs the least to run, followed by the GeForce 9600 GT, Radeon HD 3870, and GeForce 8800 GT. Assuming power at 12 cents a kW, Dragmor worked out that these cards cost a respective $9.08, $11.93, $12.02, and $15.95 per year—not as part of a system, mind you, but on their own. At the other end of the spectrum is the GeForce 9800 GX2, which according to Dragmor costs $34.09 per year.
Considering yearly home power bills tend to run in the hundreds of dollars (at least), even 34 bucks isn't much. Then again, the data assumes only eight hours of operation per day, while many enthusiasts leave their computers on 24/7.
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post #2 of 19
I think he should have determined the power usage by 24/7 use of the card. Like 15 hours idle and 9 hours gaming. That would give the enthusiast their power usage guide and the gamers theirs.

But all in all, about what was expected really.
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post #3 of 19
No wonder my power bill is so high. I have two 9800GX2's in my brother's rig on 24/7
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rx7racer View Post
I think he should have determined the power usage by 24/7 use of the card. Like 15 hours idle and 9 hours gaming. That would give the enthusiast their power usage guide and the gamers theirs.

But all in all, about what was expected really.
I can compute that for you, it's actually pretty simple to do once you know the consumption values for idle/load and the price of the kWh.

For fun I'll do it for 24/7 use like you said with 15H idle and 9H load for the HD3850 and the 9600GT:

HD3850:
$$$={[(13.5*15+63.1*9)*356(days)]/1000}*0.12($/kw) so $$$=32.91$

9600GT:
$$$={[(25.5*15+59.7*9)*356]/1000}*0.12 so $$$=39.29$

You can adjust the formulas according to your own pattern of usage. If you have a 3850 and you use it say 8 hours idle and one hour at full load you can compute your own power costs. You may as well change the price of the kWh, as it may make quite a difference if it's 2 cents lower.

Hope this clears things up.
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post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by dragosmp View Post
I can compute that for you, it's actually pretty simple to do once you know the consumption values for idle/load and the price of the kWh.

For fun I'll do it for 24/7 use like you said with 15H idle and 9H load for the HD3850 and the 9600GT:

HD3850:
$$$={[(13.5*15+63.1*9)*356(days)]/1000}*0.12($/kw) so $$$=32.91$

9600GT:
$$$={[(25.5*15+59.7*9)*356]/1000}*0.12 so $$$=39.29$

You can adjust the formulas according to your own pattern of usage. If you have a 3850 and you use it say 8 hours idle and one hour at full load you can compute your own power costs. You may as well change the price of the kWh, as it may make quite a difference if it's 2 cents lower.

Hope this clears things up.
Thx, yea actually if I would have thought for a second the values for the math were already there Sometimes I just don't get it

Not too bad, only $100 a year for my 3870x2 with my avg. usage.
Edited by rx7racer - 5/14/08 at 6:33am
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post #6 of 19
My PC is on for about 3hrs weekdays. On weekends probably 12.

So even though it might be power hungry, it makes little difference on my power bill....

Summertime is another story though XD
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post #7 of 19
Ok what about the scenario of running F@H 24/7 with casual gaming of 2hrs per day on my system?
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post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenBrown View Post
Ok what about the scenario of running F@H 24/7 with casual gaming of 2hrs per day on my system?
its just for the video cards, not the whole system... read a lil closer
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post #9 of 19
It's important to note that the .12/ kilowatt hour is higher than the national average. For example: In Virginia we pay ~.08 during the summer months and ~.05 the rest of the year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BenBrown View Post
Ok what about the scenario of running F@H 24/7 with casual gaming of 2hrs per day on my system?
If you're running F@H 24/7 then I can assure you that unless you leave ATI's artifact scan on all the time, or you're running 3DMark constantly, F@H is costing several times more than the 2Hrs a day you're gaming. There are idle figures for each card though.

All you have to do is multiply the idle power consumption of the card by 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and you'll get the Watt hours the card will consume in a year. Divide that by 1,000 and then find the cost of your electricity and multiply your kilowatt hours by the power company's cost.
Edited by RonindeBeatrice - 5/14/08 at 7:29am
    
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post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by dualhYbrid View Post
its just for the video cards, not the whole system... read a lil closer
Did you forget you can fold on the HD3870/70x2/50/50x2?
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