Please note that our load test isn't an absolute peak scenario. Instead, we have the cards running a real game, Skyrim, in order to show us power draw with a more typical workload.
Interesting. Despite the card's 250W peak power limit, our GTX 780 Ti-equipped test system draws even more power than the same system with an R9 290X in the PCIe slot. I think we'll add some additional workloads to our power testing in the future, so we can get a better sense of how these things vary.
Noise levels and GPU temperatures
Wow. Looks to me like there may be something to Nvidia's contentions about the impact of GPU thermal density. Despite its higher overall power draw, the GeForce GTX 780 Ti is substantially quieter than the Radeon R9 290X—while keeping chip temperatures over 10°C lower.
Nvidia has obviously pushed the envelope a little on temperatures and fan speeds in order to extract some additional performance out of the GK110. The 780 Ti's GPU Boost temperature limit has risen to 83°C, and its fan speed limit has risen, too, compared to the 780 and Titan. Still, those limits seem positively conservative—like, Paul-Ryan-co-authored-the-bill-with-Ted-Cruz conservative—compared to AMD's choices for the R9 290 and 290X cards. Frankly, I hope Nvidia doesn't push much further next time. The 780 Ti's understated acoustic profile is fitting for a premium product.