Processors may be making leaps and bounds to improve performance yet still reduce power consumption, but GPUs have been steadily on the rise the past few years. Most enthusiast level cards now easily exceed a draw of 150W, and some newer ones may go even higher. To that end, the PCI SIG is looking to standardize on a newer PCIe 1.1 specification that will allow for up to 300W draw on compatible platforms.

Many newer cards are approaching the limits of the existing platforms, such as the Radeon HD 2900. It pulls around 50W from the motherboard, whereas currently there are no standards set for cards that draw more than 75W in that fashion. By the end of the first week in June they will have their first draft finished. Once finalized, it'll give motherboard developers and manufacturers more guidelines to help them produce next gen boards. Will the cards really beef up that far? The GPU is being held responsible for a lot of work the CPU used to, though power-conscious consumers are becoming more and more picky when it comes to how hot a machine gets and how much it costs to operate it. Power is important.