For testing power consumption, we took our test system and plugged it into a Seasonic Power Angel. 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 game World in Conflict at 1600×1200 with medium graphics quality.
Power Consumption Results: Our power consumption chart is getting rather large, but since it doesn’t matter on the drivers, the numbers stay current as long as nothing on the test system changes. The GeForce 9600 GT’s that we tested here today all had the same exact idle speed and the load speeds were not significantly different, so we just took the average of all three cards for the load results. The GeForce 9600 GT does fairly well and consumed less power than the Radeon HD 3870, but just a little more than the Radeon HD 3850 by ATI. ATI graphics cards are based on 55nm GPUs, so it makes sense that these 65nm GPUs use a little more power.