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So a few months ago I was about to upgrade my video card in my main desktop/gaming system, and realized I needed a new power supply. I was still running the stock Antec 380 watt PSU that came with the Sonata case. It wasn't going be able to power the new video card properly, and infact was alredy underpowered for the system it was running in. Anyways, I went out and picked up a Seasonic M12 600 Watt 80 PLUS power supply. The 80 PLUS designation means the power supply is more efficent (the rating states they are 80% efficent at 20%, 50% and 100% utilization). This is somewhere around 20% more efficent than standard power supply units. So anyways, since I was upgrading I decided to run some test before I put the new video card in to see what difference it was making, and here are the results. These are measured using a Kill-A-Watt device.
System: Intel Quad Core Q6600, running a radeon 4830 graphics card.
|Antec 380 Watt PSU||Seasonic M12 600 Watt PSU|
|System Off||6 watts||2 watts|
|During Bootup||218 watts||190 watts|
|Peak During bootup||240 watts||202 watts|
|Windows Desktop Idle||128 watts||111 watts|
|CS:Source Video Stress Test||222-240 watts||188->204 watts|
And just a quick comparison, this is the seasonic PSU but with the new video card (Nvidia GTX 260) during Counter-Strike Source Stress Test: 189-208, so it seems to use just a tiny bit more power than the ATI Radeon 4830.
Anyways, it's interesting how much of a difference in power usage a quality power supply makes. Those test are identical except for the power supply change, and as you can see it really does make a noticable difference.