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ASUS EAH3870 X2 Top/G/3DHTI/1G/A Radeon HD 3870 X2 Videocard
ASUS EAH3870 X2 Top/G/3DHTI/1G/A Radeon HD 3870 X2 Videocard - PCSTATS
The ASUS EAH3870 X2 1GB TOP - which is quite a mouthful to say, by the way - packs in twin ATI RV680 GPUs, packaged together in Crossfire mode on a single PCI Express videocard.
 80% Rating:   
Filed under: Video Cards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: ASUS Nov 13 2008   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Video Cards > ASUS EAH3870 X2 Top/G/3DHTI/1G/A

Videocard Power Consumption Measurements

Environmental Green is the trendy new colour to paint yourself and your company these days, and computer 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 draw a huge amount of power.

With its twin HD 3870 GPUs, the ASUS EAH3870 X2 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 ASUS EAH3870 X2 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 ASUS EAH3870 X2 actually draws in single and crossfire configurations.

Videocard Power Draw Comparisons

Here's how the ASUS EAH3870 X2 videocard stacks up in real life against a couple different cards. As we have no way of independently measuring videocard power draw alone, PCSTATS will measure the 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 & Cooling 750W model.

PCSTATS Benchmark ReportVideocard Power Consumption (Total System Power Draw)
Idle at Desktop Points Ranking
Palit HD4870 X2 2GB 177
ASUS EAH3870 X2 1GB TOP/G/3DHTI/1G/A 153
ASUS EAH3870 X2 1GB TOP/G/3DHTI/1G/A (Crossfire) 222
Diamond Viper Radeon HD 2900XT CrossFire 195
ASUS EAH4850 HTDI/512M 120
ASUS EAX1900XTX 2DHTV/512M/A 160
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: Points Ranking
Palit HD4870 X2 2GB 421
ASUS EAH3870 X2 1GB TOP/G/3DHTI/1G/A 390
ASUS EAH3870 X2 1GB TOP/G/3DHTI/1G/A (Crossfire) 610
Diamond Viper Radeon HD 2900XT CrossFire 549
ASUS EAH4850 HTDI/512M 202
ASUS EAX1900XTX 2DHTV/512M/A 333
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
(OC) 3D Loaded: Points Ranking
Palit HD4870 X2 2GB 426
ASUS EAH3870 X2 1GB TOP/G/3DHTI/1G/A 401
ASUS EAH3870 X2 1GB TOP/G/3DHTI/1G/A (Crossfire) 630
ASUS EAH4850 HTDI/512M 231

At idle, the ASUS EAH3870 X2 videocard and test system draw approximately 153W. Energy consumption jumps a lot when the videocards are stressed under a 3D gaming load in 3DMark06. In this case, the total system power draw for the ASUS EAH3870 X2 test platform rises to a peak of about 390W. That's a change of about 235W 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 degree.

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

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Contents of Article: ASUS EAH3870 X2 Top/G/3DHTI/1G/A
 Pg 1.  ASUS EAH3870 X2 Top/G/3DHTI/1G/A Radeon HD 3870 X2 Videocard
 Pg 2.  AMD Radeon HD 3870 X2 Technology Overview
 Pg 3.  — Videocard Power Consumption Measurements
 Pg 4.  Overclocking the Twin Radeon 4870 GPUs
 Pg 5.  Videocard Benchmarks: System Specs, 3DMark Vantage, Crysis
 Pg 6.  Videocard Benchmarks: 3DMark 3DMark06
 Pg 7.  DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: Call of Juarez
 Pg 8.  DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: Lost Planet
 Pg 9.  Videocard Benchmarks: FEAR
 Pg 10.  Advanced videocard Benchmarks: Crysis, Quake 4
 Pg 11.  Advanced Videocard Benchmarks: FEAR
 Pg 12.  Conclusions: HD 3870 X2 Still Competitive?

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