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 1.7.0 at 1920×1200 resolution.
Power Consumption Results: The ASUS GeForce GTX 470 graphics card has a very respectable idle power consumption of 142 Watts with a single monitor, but at load it became a whole new monster. At full GPU load the ASUS GeForce GTX 470 gulped down 437 Watts of power, which is more than 100W higher than a Radeon HD 5850 consumes at load. The GeForce GTX 400 series isn’t power friendly at load or with two monitors, but NVIDIA said they knew that from the start with this video card series and it shouldn’t shock consumers.