For testing the power consumption of our test system with the ZOTAC AMP! GeForce GTX 550 Ti we connected a Kill-A-Watt EZ to the power connection and monitored the readings. For idle numbers we allowed the system to idle for 15 minutes on the desktop screen and took a reading from the Kill-A-Watt EZ.
Then for peak overall system power draw we ran two different tests. The first was several loops of Alien vs. Predator benchmark with all settings maxed out. This represents real world gaming and a typical load that would be placed on the system and graphics card. The second test , FurMark 1.9.1, has considerable controversy due to the synthetic nature of the test and the extreme load it places on video cards.
During AvP we saw a maximum power draw of 202 Watts for the entire system which is surprisingly low for a graphics card able to push 2560 x 1600 resolutions.
In order to show that absolute worst case scenario we added in the power draw during the FurMark stress test for informational purposes. This is by no means real world so do not expect to have this level of power draw during normal gaming sessions. This number show that ZOTAC AMP! GeForce GTX 550 Ti is not limiting power based on the use of FurMark 1.9.1 currently.
Not surprisingly the ZOTAC card had the best results and was sipping power compared to the overclocked GTX560.