Content Addressable Memories (CAM) have become increasingly more important in applications requiring high speed memory search due to their inherent massively parallel processing architecture. We present a complete power analysis methodology for CAM systems to aid the exploration of their power-performance trade-offs in future systems. Our proposed methodology uses detailed transistor level circuit simulation of power behavior and a handful of input data types to simulate full chip power consumption. Furthermore, we applied our power analysis methodology on a custom designed associative memory test chip. This chip was developed by Fermilab for the purpose of developing high performance real-Time pattern recognition on high volume data produced by a future large-scale scientific experiment. We applied our methodology to configure a power model for this test chip. Our model is capable of predicting the total average power within 4% of actual power measurements. Our power analysis methodology can be generalized and applied to other CAM-like memory systems and accurately characterize their power behavior.