Power Consumption and Temperature Testing
My power testing was done using the famous Kill-A-Watt P3. For our idle tests we allowed the computer to sit at the desktop for 15 minutes so that everything could settle in, we then measured our power usage. For our load tests we used Furmark to measure the maximum power draw. We ran the test for 15 minutes and then noted our power usage. Power usage shown is for the entire system, not just the graphics cards that are tested.
Just like the XFX 7850, the XFX 7870 is very power efficient. This is due in part to the 28nm fabrication process that the AMD 7000 series of GPUs is built on. Pulling just 284 watts at full load is very impressive, which means you could effectively run a single GPU system on a quality 400 watt power supply with no trouble at all!
For our temperature testing we allowed the XFX 7850 Black Edition to come to an idle for 15 minutes before we measured our load temperatures. For our load temperature testing we loaded up Furmark and ran the default burn-in test for 15 minutes and recorded our results. Our gaming temperature tests were done while we ran our Heaven 3.0 benchmarks.
Here we can see that after sitting for 15 minutes the XFX 7870 was able to settle to a respectable 38 degrees Celsius, and was completely inaudible under the default fan settings for this temperature.
Under full load, our XFX 7870 was able to maintain very respectable temperatures. In our Furmark burn-in the GPU got up to 74 Celsius, however in game it only got up to 66 degrees Celsius. Again, the default fan profile really helped maintain a quiet gaming atmosphere when the temperatures started rising.