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 3840×2160 and recorded the average idle reading and the peak gaming reading on the power meter.
Power Consumption Results: The system with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 4GB reference card installed used just 103 Watts at idle and 334 Watts when gaming. These results are very good results! The NVIDIA GeForce GTX actually used less power in our test system as it was chugging along at 4K Ultra HD resolutions whereas the GeForce GTX 980 was running smoothly. We’ve found that when a video card is bottlenecked that it runs below the true max power consumption levels, so that explains why the GTX 680 is showing up lower in our testing. We could test at a lower resolution, but we wanted to keep all of our testing at 4K.