|ASUS Striker II NSE nForce 790i SLI Motherboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Wednesday, 28 May 2008|
Page 13 of 14
Natural Resources and our Planet
It's a sad state of affairs we find ourselves in today. Our forefathers did their best to build these nations, but despite their best intentions the industrial revolution began a trend that we must now struggle to cope with. Fossil fuels are diminishing from sustainable supply, and with nuclear reactors rapidly being shut down because of drying water supplies we will soon see a major rise in the household cost of electricity. Natural resources are rapidly disappearing, along with our polar ice caps and much of the wildlife worldwide, which makes this next decade a critical time for us all.
Since our planet is proving to us that it cannot sustain the present rate of human growth, we must collectively do what we can to restore some level of balance in our favor. ASUS understands that conservation is an effort worth working at, which is why the Striker II NSE complies with RoHS (Restriction on Hazardous Substance) guidelines as part of the GreenASUS feature.
Once upon a time televisions and refrigerators were the largest consumers of household electricity, but over the past decade that shift has completely moved towards personal computers. While it's great that I can overclock the my processor and video card for a few extra frames per second out of my favorite games, it always comes at a cost.
But we all still like to play with our toys. While it's absurd how far some people will go for that last extra bit of performance, most of us could find a happy middle ground with high-end components running on less power. After all, who doesn't want better gas mileage?
So in this section I have compared the up-and-coming NVIDIA nForce 790i SLI chipset of the ASUS Striker II NSE against one of my favorite motherboards: the Gigabyte GA-X48T-DQ6. Both motherboards were tested using the same hardware, and both systems were repeatedly tested for consistent results. Below are the power consumption results at standby (powered off) and idle (login screen).
Power Consumption Results
During the test period the power supply was given power and left in standby mode for several minutes. This test was repeated five times, and the average for each system is displayed (although each test result was identical to the previous). The system was then powered on, and left at the login screen for approximately five minutes before the idle readings were taken and averaged. First up was the standby test, which rates power consumption when the computer is turned off.
The Standby test wasn't meant to show a difference between products, so much as it's intended to simply illustrate the power consumed by a computer turned off but not unplugged. In all honesty, it doesn't really tell much, and is probably best suited for general purpose knowledge.
In the next test, we pull the video cards and take some readings... which should be a little more comparative.
I've never been one to do as others do. Benchmark Reviews is my tool for breaking the mold, and that's what I was thinking when I removed the video card from each system and powered on to an idle POST state. If anything, this is meant to isolate the motherboard as much as possible. At the end of the testing, it was beginning to look like the ASUS Striker II was actually more efficient than the Gigabyte X48 motherboard.
Once the systems were booted into Windows and left idle at the logon screen, I recorded the power consumption readings. While the X48 motherboard does better than the P35, it takes the nForce 790i motherboard to show some real prowess. Shaving a full 7W of power while at idle, the ASUS Striker II NSE is finally starting to pull away from the GA-X48T-DQ6.
Finally, after starting the system stability tests included in EVEREST Ultimate Engineer Version, each system was measured for power consumption. Coming in at a full 10W more efficient than the competition, NVIDIA (and ASUS) should be proud that their motherboard offers the same EXACT level of performance as the leading Intel X48 motherboard while still shaving power consumption by a 4% margin.
It should be noted however that Gigabyte offers the Dynamic Energy Saver utility their X48T-DQ6, which extends power savings when the motherboard uses stock settings (not all that common for X48 motherboards).