Faster video card = higher power drain?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Whackintosh, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. Whackintosh macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2009
    Just wondering, if I were to go for a higher specd iMac with a more powerful video card (thinking possibly the refurb with the 8800), would this be a significantly bigger energy drain, or does the card not kick in to full force unless a task requires it to do so?
  2. MTI macrumors 65816

    Feb 17, 2009
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Given the laws of physics and thermodynamics . . . the faster processors and additional ram on higher performance video cards is going to increase system power draw and increase surface temperatures.
  3. Whackintosh thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2009
    Yes, I gathered that. What I wonder is whether the video card would be working at full speed / heat / energy draw even when the task at hand doesn't demand it. For example, when I'm writing a document or reading email, would the video card still be chugging away at full power?
  4. Techguy172 macrumors 68000

    Feb 2, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    I don't know how well the 8800 does it but some graphics chips can scale themselves down pretty good when they are not needed.
  5. PurpleCliff macrumors regular


    Feb 23, 2009
    My GT 130 seems to stay pretty cool when I'm just using basic programs like iTunes and Safari ... for a while. After only half an hour of using Safari - it gets very hot. The good thing is if I just leave it to go to the screensaver, or put it to sleep, or turn it off - it will only take about 10 minutes for it to completely cool down again. :)
  6. Whackintosh thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2009
    That's what I kind of expected Thanks. I'm honestly tempted to save some dollars and go with a 2.66 with the integrated 9400, as it seems that would run much cooler and draw less energy. Since I'd just be doing video editing and photoshop type things at the most extreme with it, it doesn't appear that I'd be taking a performance hit. I've got a PS3 for the few times I do game anyway.
  7. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2008
    I think video editing might benefit from the better graphics, it might make it faster to render videos and such. Don't think Photoshop would act any different though, I've ran it just fine on every type of computer and it ran at a similar speed.
  8. bozz2006 macrumors 68030


    Aug 24, 2007
  9. synagence macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2008
  10. jmpage2 macrumors 68030


    Sep 14, 2007
    The new architecture will probably change that, but it's going to take time. I wouldn't expect many applications to take advantage of OpenCL and Grand Central for about a year to a year and a half after the intro of SL.
  11. synagence macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2008
    I'm sincerely hoping that CS5 offers something for the Mac user since CS4 didn't

    On windows they added all manner of GPU support but they didn't even cocoa the UI for us.
  12. DannySmurf macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2005
    Lots of people saying things like that; it's not a valid argument. CS4 isn't that old, and it doesn't. The next release (judging from previous release cycles) is about 2 years away, if not more... at the limit of the average life of a computer bought today. Ditto for every other application in the world that doesn't use Grand Central "yet."
  13. Whackintosh thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2009
    I wonder then, would the 2.66 with integrated graphics run considerably cooler and more energy efficient than the other 24 inchers?

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