For testing power consumption, we took our test system and plugged it into a Kill-A-Watt power meter. For idle numbers, we allowed the system to idle on the desktop for 15 minutes and took the reading. For load numbers we measured the peak wattage used by the system while running the OpenGL benchmark FurMark 1.10.1 at 1024×768 resolution. We also ran four game titles at 1920×1080 and averaged the peak results recorded the highest Wattage seen on the meter for the gaming results.
Power Consumption Results: The system with the Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 Vapor-X used the same power at idle reguardless of the driver, but at load there was a clear difference. We were seeing about 14 Watts higher power use on average in game titles. We asked AMD about this power increase and they said it was because the new driver more effectively uses the GPU cores, which means they could possibly mean more power being used. AMD wasn’t 100% sure and we won’t begin to speculate, but there is a power increase that can be observed.