The use of the term TDP will inevitably lead to comparisons between the power consumption of Nvidia’s graphics cards and heat output of CPUs and GPUs. By defining TDP as an input– and, in fact, as the maximum power draw of an entire card, rather than just the GPU – Nvidia is making its product look comparably terrible. A 6-core LGA1366 Core i7-980X Extreme Edition has a TDP of 140W, likewise an Athlon II X6 1090T Black Edition, but with a ‘TDP’ of 255W Nvidia is making the GTX 580 1.5GB seem to be twice as hot or twice as power hungry as those CPUs.
And for what? Detractors and the flippant will say that all this power is merely being use to play some games that can run just as well on an Xbox – what a waste of valuable resources!