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 1.8.2 at 1280×1024 resolution.
Power Consumption Results: Here we see the GeForce GTX 580 SLI setup uses the most power at both idle and load power states. These results actually paint the GeForce GTX 580 SLI setup in good light as the power monitoring software kicks in and throttles the cards’ power back. When running the benchmarks for this article we kept an eye on the power meter and noticed that it spiked up to 640 Watts for a split second when running 3DMark Vantage. Our Corsair HX850 power supply had no issues handling this setup though, but be sure to be use a quality power supply if you are going to be building a system with two or more GeForce GTX 580 video cards.