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 Battlefield 4 at 1920×1080 and recorded the average idle reading and the peak gaming reading on the power meter.
Power Consumption Results: The system with the ASUS STRIX GTX 950 2GB video card used the least amount of power at load and averaged just 103 Watts at idle. The GeForce GTX 950 actually used more power than the EVGA GeForce GTX 960 at idle, but that is likely due to voltage differences and the fact that every GPU has different die leakage. The big thing we’d like to hammer home on this chart is that the ASUS GeForce GTX 950 2GB video card beat the MSI Radeon R7 370 2GB in ever single benchmark that we ran and unfortunately for AMD the Radeon R7 370 was found to also use significantly more power. We found that the Radeon R7 370 peak power number was 51 Watts higher than that of the GeForce GTX 950 2GB video card. Using 22.3% more power when gaming and being 10.8% slower in the game title being used for that test is not good.
Remember in the introduction that we told you that the Radeon R7 370 uses a GPU that came out originally in 2012? That is really starting to impact AMD when it comes to power efficiency as NVIDIA has released new improved architecture designs that conserve power and AMD has had to use older designs with increased clock speeds to get the performance they need to stay competitive.