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 ran three games at 1920×1080 and averaged the peak results seen on the power meter.
Power Consumption Results: The entire platform with the AMD Radeon R9 290X was using 107 Watts at load, which is perfectly normal for a high-end video card. At full load we were hit 464 Watts on the Radeon R9 290X ain Uber mode and 454 Watts in Quiet mode. These numbers are a bit deceiving though as in Quiet mode the AMD Radeon R9 290X throttled back more. For example in ‘Quiet’ mode the GPU clock is not maintained at the higher clock frequencies as often and the fan speed runs slower. This meas that the GPU will ramp up when the game initially starts and then quickly peaks and settles. That means our peak numbers aren’t really representative for sustained use, but our power meter doesn’t support data logging. It looks like we need to begin measuring power used over time rather than peak power usage!