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Power Consumption & Temperatures
It was very interesting to find the Inno3D GTX 480 iChill to be significantly less power hungry at idle compared to the Nvidia reference sample we tested a couple of months back. When at idle we noticed that the operating frequencies were heavily reduced, likely a result of the power saving. Even when overclocked the GTX 480 iChill Black Series used 27% less power than the standard GeForce GTX 480, something we didn't expect to see at all.
However once under full load the overclock did push the card for an added 10% power consumption compared to a standard GeForce GTX 480.
As the only water-cooled graphics card on test, it's no surprise to find that the Inno3D GTX 480 iChill Black Series had the coolest operating temperatures of the high-end graphics cards tested. Whereas the standard GeForce GTX 480 operated at 97 degrees under full load, our overclocked Inno3D GTX 480 iChill Black Series configuration operated at just 68 degrees, a welcomed 30% drop in temperature.
We still believe 68 degrees is warm for a water-cooled graphics card that is not being fed additional voltage, not to mention it was the only device being water-cooled by the system. But as mentioned earlier, we were using a relatively low-end water-cooling setup and you can expect better results from more advanced configurations.