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MSI R3870X2-T2D1G-OC Radeon HD 3870 X2 Videocard Review

MSI R3870X2-T2D1G-OC Radeon HD 3870 X2 Videocard Review  - PCSTATS
Abstract: As its name suggests, MSI's R3870X2-T2D1G-OC videocard is the combination of two ATI HD 3870 GPUs on a single PCB to provide gamers with a ready-made crossfire gaming solution.
 80% Rating:   
Filed under: Video Cards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: MSI Sep 30 2008   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Video Cards > MSI R3870X2-T2D1G-OC

Videocard Power Consumption Measurements

Environmental Green is the trendy new colour to paint yourself and your company these days, and computer equipment makers have been paying as much lip-service to the trend as anyone else except in the area of videocards, where the latest, biggest and baddest gaming cards always Hoover up a huge amount of power to work correctly.

With its twin HD 3870 GPUs, the MSI R3870X2-T2D1G-OC videocard is not going to be the exception here. ATI recommends a minimum of 550 watts for the HD 3870 X2 videocard, and that's pretty much where PCSTATS stands also. Don't think of doing the Crossfire thing with a pair of these cards unless you are packing at least a 750Watt PSU with quad PCI express power connectors.

The MSI R3870X2-T2D1G-OC uses two PCI-express power connectors, an eight pin and a six-pin. The 6-pin connectors, like the PCI-Express x16 slot itself, deliver up to 75W of power. The 8-pin can deliver a whopping 225W (though the card has been designed to work with two 6-pin connectors as well). Maximum power draw should hover somewhere around 225W, then.

The only advantage to using a full 8-pin PCI express power connector is that this will enable the 'overdrive' overclocking features built into the ATI Catalyst driver suite. Now let's get a look at how much power the MSI R3870X2-T2D1G-OC actually draws in single and crossfire configurations.

Videocard Power Draw Comparisons

Here's how the MSI R3870X2-T2D1G-OC videocard stacks up in real life against a couple different cards We have no way of directly measuring video card power draw, so PCSTATS will measure total system power draw and compare that in 3D loaded (max value recorded in 3DMark06) and idle states (at Windows desktop). The power supply used in each test is an A-PFC compliant PC Power and Cooling 750W model.

PCSTATS Benchmark ReportVideocard Power Consumption (Total System Power Draw)
Idle at Desktop Watts Ranking
Palit HD4870 X2 2GB 177
Asus EAH3870 X2 1GB TOP/G/3DHTI/1G/A 153
MSI R3870X2-T2D1G-OC 165
MSI R3870X2-T2D1G-OC (Crossfire) 222
Diamond Viper Radeon HD 2900XT CrossFire 195
Asus EAH4850 HTDI/512M 120
Asus EAX1900XTX 2DHTV/512M/A 160
Asus EAX1950PRO/HTDP/256M/A 150
nVidia Geforce 9600GTs in SLI 166
Asus EN9600GT Top/HTDI/512M 152
Palit Geforce 9600GT 512 151
MSI NX8800GTX-T2D768E 196
MSI NX7950GX2-T2D1GE 183
MSI NX7900GTX-T2D512E 165
Gigabyte GV-NX76T256D-RH 140
3D Loaded: Watts Ranking
Palit HD4870 X2 2GB 421
Asus EAH3870 X2 1GB TOP/G/3DHTI/1G/A 390
MSI R3870X2-T2D1G-OC 330
MSI R3870X2-T2D1G-OC (Crossfire) 610
Diamond Viper Radeon HD 2900XT CrossFire 549
Asus EAH4850 HTDI/512M 202
Asus EAX1900XTX 2DHTV/512M/A 333
Asus EAX1950PRO/HTDP/256M/A 252
nVidia Geforce 9600GTs in SLI 313
Asus EN9600GT Top/HTDI/512M 220
Palit Geforce 9600GT 512 221
MSI NX8800GTX-T2D768E 345
MSI NX7950GX2-T2D1GE 315
MSI NX7900GTX-T2D512E 277
Gigabyte GV-NX76T256D-RH 213
(Overclocked) 3D Loaded: Watts Ranking
Palit HD4870 X2 2GB 426
MSI R3870X2-T2D1G-OC 339
MSI R3870X2-T2D1G-OC (Crossfire) 630
Asus EAH4850 HTDI/512M 231

At idle, the MSI R3870X2-T2D1G-OC videocard and test system draw approximately 165W. Energy consumption jumps a lot when the video cards are stressed under a 3D gaming load in 3DMark06. In this case, the total system power draw for the MSI R3870X2-T2D1G-OC test platform rises to a peak of about 330W. That's a change of about 245W when this dual card is working at its peak. Keep in mind that some of this additional power is being drawn by the CPU and memory. The 550W PSU recommended by AMD might be a slight overkill judging by these numbers, but we wouldn't want to go much below 500W.

The crossfire setup almost doubles the power usage to a whopping 610W! Your 550W system has now restarted or just blown up in protest, and you are reconsidering the idea of ignoring the box specs... Seriously, we knew that dual HD 3870 X2 videocards were going to use a lot of power, but 610W of total system power draw is impressive. The 750W or greater PSU recommended specs seem to be accurate as far as PCSTATS is concerned. Overclocking in single or crossfire setups did not boost the power requirements by any significant amount.

Now let's have a look at how MSI's dual-core creation overclocks.

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Contents of Article: MSI R3870X2-T2D1G-OC
 Pg 1.  MSI R3870X2-T2D1G-OC Radeon HD 3870 X2 Videocard Review
 Pg 2.  AMD Radeon HD 3870 X2 Technology
 Pg 3.  — Videocard Power Consumption Measurements
 Pg 4.  Overclocking the Twin Radeon 4870 GPUs
 Pg 5.  Videocard Benchmarks: System Specs, 3DMark Vantage
 Pg 6.  Videocard Benchmarks: 3DMark 3DMark06
 Pg 7.  DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: Crysis
 Pg 8.  DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: Call of Juarez
 Pg 9.  DX10 Video card Benchmarks: Lost Planet
 Pg 10.  Video card Benchmarks: FEAR
 Pg 11.  Advanced Video card Benchmarks: Crysis, Quake 4
 Pg 12.  Advanced Videocard Benchmarks: FEAR
 Pg 13.  Conclusions: HD 3870 X2 Still Competitive?

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