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 1.9.2 at 640×480 resolution. We also ran the game HAWX 2 and looped the benchmark three times and recorded the highest Wattage seen on the meter.
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX680 is NVIDIA’s very first 28nm desktop graphics card and it has been designed to be very power efficient. The maximum board power is 195 Watts and the heat output on the GTX680 is 660 BTUs. This is a pretty big deal as this card has a lower power rating than the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 and AMD Radeon HD 7970 as those cards are both rated at 250 Watts! The good news is that the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 has reduced power supply requirements!
Power Consumption Results: With the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 video card in our test system we found that the idle state power draw at the wall outlet was 97 Watts. During HAWX 2 gaming the power draw jumped up to 317 Watts and when running Furmark we hit a peak of 353 Watts! These are pretty darn impressive power numbers and fairly consistent. For example in Batman Arkham City the GeForce GTX 680 peaked at 342 Watts and in Just Cause 2 we hit 343 Watts. It really depends on the game title, but we saw the power meter fluctuate between 315-345 Watts on all the game titles we tested here today.
Keep in mind the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 peaked at 472 Watts in Furmark and the GeForce GTX 680 peaked at just 353 Watts! This is an impressive 119 Watt decrease in power use!