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Old 08-19-10, 11:17 AM   #1
uOpt
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Default Power consumption GTS 250 versus GTX 240/260/275 with the Linux drivers?

My 6600GTjust blew up (system hang, then graphics corruption). I'm looking for a new card that has dual DVI (at least one of them dual-link) and low idle power consumption, this time in the field of some graphics muscle.

Price/performance wise the GTS 250 looks attractive but the Windows-based reviews indicated that it takes a lot of power idle, more than the GTX 240-275. Presumably that might be based on power management in the drivers, and a series of NVidia drivers was taken back for not aggressive enough fan speed, also presumably only in the GTX card.

What's the story with today's Linux drivers and power of these cards?

Any random recommendations for cards? Low idle power, I'd like to buy something that comes stock with a 2-slot design that directly exhausts the air through a built-in slot grille and is quiet in 2D.
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Old 08-19-10, 12:42 PM   #2
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Default Re: Power consumption GTS 250 versus GTX 240/260/275 with the Linux drivers?

The GTS 250 is (sadly) only a relabeled 9800 GT and sports pretty high overall power consumption and doesn't have good power management. These are hardware properties not affected by the driver.

The GT 240 is a good option if you need low power consumption, especially low idle power consumption (< 10W). It'll be a bit slower than a GTS 250, obviously.
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Old 08-19-10, 02:08 PM   #3
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Default Re: Power consumption GTS 250 versus GTX 240/260/275 with the Linux drivers?

That explains it. Bummer. Well a 240 seems like a good option.

Any idea whether they are compatible with a Zalman VF-700? Looks like I can't get an exhaust based system for them.

Are the "Zotac" cards any good? Looks like those are the only ones stick with exotic cooling.
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Old 08-19-10, 02:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: Power consumption GTS 250 versus GTX 240/260/275 with the Linux drivers?

I got a 240 as a replacement for my trusted 9600GT. Got a model from ASUS (ENGT250). 9W on ilde, ~55W on load. It's WAY quieter than my 9600GT as well and does "enough" performance for me. I would always recommend it if you want a good energy saving.
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Old 08-19-10, 02:58 PM   #5
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Default Re: Power consumption GTS 250 versus GTX 240/260/275 with the Linux drivers?

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Originally Posted by uOpt View Post
Are the "Zotac" cards any good? Looks like those are the only ones stick with exotic cooling.
I've had a Zotac fanless GT240 w/1GB in the MythTV box here since this past winter. Dead quiet, tons of muscle for HD, and low power / cool temperatures.
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Old 08-19-10, 03:29 PM   #6
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Default Re: Power consumption GTS 250 versus GTX 240/260/275 with the Linux drivers?

Turns out I can't get a GT 240 with two DVI, at least one of them dual-link. Bummer.

I just short of forgetting about a speed upgrade and slam in my 7600
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Old 08-20-10, 07:41 AM   #7
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Default Re: Power consumption GTS 250 versus GTX 240/260/275 with the Linux drivers?

I did find a 240 with dual DVI (probably has a HDMI to DVI built in). But the reviews are lackluster, including bashing it for being loud. No thanks.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814125311

They did have an open box 260, the MSI with highend cooling, for $150. So that's what I got now.

It was time to upgrade the PSU in that machine anyway so there
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Old 08-20-10, 08:32 AM   #8
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Default Re: Power consumption GTS 250 versus GTX 240/260/275 with the Linux drivers?

Just get a HDMI->DVI adapter or cable...?
BTW, if you connect multiple outputs, you won't be able to take (good) advantage of power management.
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Old 08-20-10, 09:44 AM   #9
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Default Re: Power consumption GTS 250 versus GTX 240/260/275 with the Linux drivers?

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Just get a HDMI->DVI adapter or cable...?
BTW, if you connect multiple outputs, you won't be able to take (good) advantage of power management.
Why would power management be affected by using multiple outputs?

The thing I'm most concerned about is power consumption while the monitors are power down via dpms.
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Old 08-20-10, 11:25 AM   #10
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Default Re: Power consumption GTS 250 versus GTX 240/260/275 with the Linux drivers?

As far as I know, basically it's quite tricky to change VRAM clock without switching off the display momentarily (causing flicker) if multiple outputs are used. I'm not sure why.
Point is, the GPU won't drop down into lower performance levels if multiple outputs are active.

I worked around this by modifying the BIOS to force every power level to the same, full VRAM clock. Be careful, your PC might crash and burn and you will lose your warranty.
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Old 08-20-10, 04:06 PM   #11
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Default Re: Power consumption GTS 250 versus GTX 240/260/275 with the Linux drivers?

Oh well. We'll see how this works out when thingie arrives.

I can always use it to renovate my gaming machine instead.
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Old 08-20-10, 05:42 PM   #12
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Default Re: Power consumption GTS 250 versus GTX 240/260/275 with the Linux drivers?

@hl_: the problem is that memory clock changes need to happen during the vertical blank period to avoid underflow and similar problems in the display engine. Since there's no guarantee that the display timings of both displays match and are synchronized (i.e. that the vertical blanks happen at the same time), memory clock transitions were disabled for multi-head configurations.

I believe that this has recently been relaxed, however, allowing p-state transitions in cases in which the two heads are raster-locked. I'm not sure off-hand what all of the relevant requirements are, but if I recall correctly, the use of identical display devices yields a good chance that the driver will do the right thing automatically.
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