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 800×600 resolution. We also ran six game titles at 1920×1080 and averaged the peak results recorded the highest Wattage seen on the meter for the gaming results. The AMD Radeon HD 6990 with Catalyst 12.4 WHQL drivers doesn’t play nice with Furmark in full-screen mode, so we will not be including those results.
Power Consumption Results: The AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition video card was handed to us by AMD and it looks like it was a cherry picked sample as the idle numbers were much lower than any we have ever seen before with a 7970 video card. We measured just 101 Watts at idle, a peak of 420 Watts in Furmark and an average of 373 Watts on six game titles. The load power numbers are slightly higher than all of the other Radeon HD 7970 video cards we have tested before, but this is likely due to the higher core clock and voltages needed to get there.