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 three games at 1920×1080 and averaged the peak results seen on the power meter.
Power Consumption Results: The PowerColor HD 7850 SCS3 1GB used more power than we expected at an idle, but was right where we expected it to be under a gaming load. We did some poking around and it appears that the memory is not being fully clocked down in 2D mode at idle for unknown reasons, so it runs at an effective speed of 4800MHz at all times. This is very strange to us and we’ve never seen another Radeon HD 7000 series card not power down the memory at an idle power state.
We’ve been benchmarking a number of high-end cards this past month, so to see a video card down at just 266 Watts when gaming is nice.