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drhex
08-26-05, 09:50 AM
Is there any current Nvidia card that can be disabled when it is not in use?

My (fanless) 6600 GT is at 70 degrees Celcius all the time and that must cost some energy.
The computer is on 24/7 doing computations for e.g. seti@home, but there should be
no need for the graphics card to be "on" unless there is a user interacting with the machine!

gram_vaz
08-26-05, 09:52 AM
it doesn't suck up as much energy as you think. it has a 2d mode with lowered clocks and it takes up less voltage in 2d mode.

ricercar
08-27-05, 06:43 AM
Unfortunately there's no provision in Windows or Linux to re-initialize a video card after the machine is booted, so powering down the whole thing and repowering when needed is not feasible without a reboot. This is personally vexing in my line of work (virtualization of one OS within another).

However, NVIDIA developed what they call "PowerMizer™" technology in hardware and drivers, in order to decrease power consumption by powering down portions of the GPU when they are unused. For example, when playing a 3D game, the GPU's DVD decoder is not powered, and when watching DVDs, the 3D pipeline is not powered. One imagines that ATI has a similar tech.

For your particular application, make certain the passive heatsink has airflow across it at all times, and let the OS turn off your display when unused for a period of time, and you'll do as much as you can to prolong the life of your card, and to conserve energy. Powering down the display will save 2x-5x more energy than powering down the GPU anyway, depending on the display.

ViN86
08-27-05, 11:30 AM
someone needs to make a video card with the hotplug feature. they can do it with harddrives and such, why not vid cards? hehe

j0j081
08-28-05, 08:38 AM
someone needs to make a video card with the hotplug feature. they can do it with harddrives and such, why not vid cards? hehe
that's just about the dumbest thing i've read in a while.

uOpt
09-02-05, 03:29 PM
Actually no 6800Ultra takes up an annoying amount of idle energy :(. And that is even with a BIOS with lowered 2D voltage that I tried (only dropped a few watts, not worth it).

The 5900XT is much better idle.

And yes I want the whole thing to be shut off when not needed.

rohit
09-02-05, 04:32 PM
Everyone would want their GFX card to be shut down wen not in use.
or use a cheeper card or integrated for instead. but its not possible.

grimreefer
09-02-05, 05:50 PM
u can set ur 2d clocks alot lower, that helps i guess

maddbomber83
09-03-05, 04:26 PM
it doesn't suck up as much energy as you think. it has a 2d mode with lowered clocks and it takes up less voltage in 2d mode.
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article265-page1.html

Table messed up on cut and paste but if you go to the 4th page.
Also keep note that with the 36 watt idle load, the most power hungry system still took less than 300w total. So the 6800gt card at idel uses more than 10% of a fully loaded computer.

POWER CONSUMPTION: VIDEO CARDS
Video Card +12V (total) +5V +3.3V Change in Power
Matrox G550 No Change +0.3A +1.7A +7.1W
ATI Radeon 9600XT +0.3A +0.4A +0.3A +6.6W
Aeolus 6800GT +3.0A No Change No Change +36.0W


The Matrox and the ATI both drew less than 10W at idle. The Matrox card drew most of its power from the +3.3V line, while the Radeon seemed to draw power from all three main voltages.

The Aeolus 6800GT, on the other hand, drew much more power at idle — about five times as much. All of the power came from the +12V line; neither of the other two lines were affected. To put it in perspective, the entire A64-3200+ socket 754 system used less power at idle than this video card.

Under this extreme load, the total power draw peaked at about 220W. Neither the +5V nor the +3.3V lines drew appreciably more power during the test. About 90% of the power was drawn though the +12V line.

And under full load the 6800 drew 70 watts

The total power draw of the Aeolus 6800GT at load can be estimated at about six amperes on the +12V line, or around 70W.

So at idle the 6800 draws half the power it does at full load.

Just linking to some actual power tests. I don't know how your video card compairs to all of this. To keep thing in perspective, a small florecent bulb to replace the normal bulbs in your house, the one that outputs a little more light than a standard 100 watt bulb takes about 26 watts of power, 74 watts less (more than a 6800gt at full load). If you kept the light on all the time (computer at full load all the time) it would save you $50 a year including replacment bulbs.