Power, Temperatures, Noise and Overclocking
Starting with our power tests it is worth noting that the GTX 600 manages this aspect in a different way to older cards so we have changed the way we test power and temperature levels in our reviews. For idle power we list the full system use at the wall after sitting at the desktop with no activity for 5 minutes. Load power is the highest reading we saw for the full system when testing during this review. Temperatures are taken in the same way. Noise levels are taken after a period of prolonged gaming in a scenario which applied maximum load to the GPU. Finally, our CPU is running at full MHz when testing, speedstep etc disabled.
As noted above the readings shown in the table here are taken during gaming (real world use), not in a synthetic test and the result, at idle, is that all off the cards are reasonably similar in power draw with temperatures favouring the GTXs, similar to higher price point comparisons.
At load the Radeon draws significantly more power and while it runs quite cool it is the Gigabyte card which has the most impressive load temperature. For noise levels the three NVIDIA based cards are near silent at all times which is great to see (hear).
Somewhat surprisingly given the factory overclocks on the cards, especially the EVGA, there was still plenty of headroom for speed increases with the fastest result being just over P5500.