How does a graphics card use electricity?

How does a graphics card use electricity?

Current high-end graphics card models from AMD, NVIDIA or Intel can be considered real “monsters” in graphics processing capabilities, especially for very impressive gaming experiences. There is a saying that “modernity is bad for power”, and in order to get the best performance, modern graphics cards also become more intimidating “power-hungry” machines when working at their full potential. What about light everyday tasks? Are high-performance GPUs wasting energy when you’re not playing games or working on tasks that require high graphics processing performance?

The standby power consumption of the GPU models is almost identical

Whenever a new GPU model is released, especially in the high-end segment, there is always a heated debate about how much power they use and whether users should upgrade to a new PSU to ensure optimal performance of your card. PC system or not. These are all very legitimate and practical questions. But there’s one important thing that many people don’t notice is how much power is consumed in standby or light tasks by high-end GPU models.

In fact, the peak performance of the graphics card models can be very different, but there is no significant difference in power consumption when they are idle or processing. Light and simple tasks.

Take a detailed example. In terms of peak performance, there will be a big difference between models (models) like the GTX 1060 compared to the RTX 3080. But their passive power consumption is not very large. The GTX 1060 uses about 5W of power when idle, while the RTX 3080 uses about 15W of power in standby. At first glance, this is not the same power consumption, but in fact it is not very large, and generally a small and acceptable difference. In other words, it doesn’t make you panic when you look at your electricity bill.

Power consumption at “full load” is a different story

Of course, power consumption can vary greatly between models when the GPU really starts to work, especially for newer, higher-end cards. That’s why you’ll need to upgrade your system’s PSU to keep up with the demands of your new GPU.

For example, when playing a graphics-intensive game or doing some heavy rendering, the aforementioned GTX 1060 model can achieve 125W of power consumption. On the other hand, the RTX 3080 can easily reach 345W when handling heavy games. That’s up to 220W difference between the two models, certainly not a small number.

Summarize the problem. To answer the question, do high-end GPU models with high performance waste power when in standby state? The answer is yes, but not by much. A more worrisome issue is that when the card is running at high performance, the system’s public sector cannot meet the powerful performance of the GPU.

(See QTM)

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