3DMark Vantage is the new industry standard PC gaming performance benchmark from Futuremark, newly designed for Windows Vista and DirectX10. It includes two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, and support for the latest hardware. 3DMark Vantage is based on a completely new rendering engine, developed specifically to take full advantage of DirectX10, the new graphics API from Microsoft.
The Performance settings were used for testing, so a resolution of 1280×1024 was used.
Benchmark Results: The GeForce GTX 480 video card really wakes up when overclocked. As you can see, the 3DMark score went from P20155 to P22688 by just pushing the card by overclocking it on air. By using the water cooling block we were able to lower the temperatures enough to push more voltage to the core, which allowed us to get another 70MHz from the core clocks. This frequency boost was enough to get us to a score of P24216, which is 20% more performance than the card with stock clocks! Not bad for a 28% overclock!
Now let’s see what the power consumption looks like.
By overclocking the card we get an increase in performance, but we also get an increase in power consumption. The Wattage the system isn’t the only thing you need to be concerned about with these cards as they also have a fairly high pull when it comes to amperage. With a single card system that has been overclocked to the max we found the system pulling nearly 5 Amps of power at the outlet. It also shows that by just increasing the voltage on the video card and raising the clock speeds that the test system consumed nearly 130 Watts more power at full load. This was a bit of a shock to us as we didn’t know overclocking just the video card would have nearly that much power draw.
If your house has old wiring or if you are at a LAN party it would take just three systems like this to trip a traditional 15 Amp circuit breaker that is found inside most homes. If you are running a triple or quad SLI rig you can see that you will be pulling well over 900 Watts and 10 Amps. These cards are going to change the power arrangements at LAN parties!