|Gigabyte GA-EP45T-EXTREME P45 Motherboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 05 August 2008|
Page 15 of 17
Natural Resources and our Planet
I dislike how much doom and gloom I hear on the news every day, but it would be a sin to ignore the sad state of affairs we find ourselves in today. Our forefathers did their best to build these nations, but despite good 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. Several motherboard manufacturers have embraced this idea, such as Gigabyte, who understands that conservation is an effort worth working at. This is why all Gigabyte motherboards built in recent years comply with RoHS (Restriction on Hazardous Substance) guidelines as part of concerted effort to reduce pollution.
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 P45 Express chipset to the nForce 790i SLI on the ASUS Striker II NSE, and X48 on the Gigabyte GA-X48T-DQ6. All of the motherboards were tested using the same hardware, and both systems were repeatedly tested for consistent results. Below are the power consumption results at at full load 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.
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, the no-VGA tests are 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, but the GA-EP45T-EXTREME was right behind it.
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 pulls away from the EP45T by only 4W at idle.
Finally, after starting the system stability tests included in EVEREST Ultimate Engineer Version, each system was measured for power consumption. Nearly tied for identical power consumption under full load, the GA-EP45T-EXTREME comes in just behind the ASUS Striker II NSE.
There are some caveats that I should mention. Gigabyte offers the Dynamic Energy Saver Advanced utility with the P45 (and X48 series with BIOS update) motherboards, which further reduces power consumption on a non-overclocked computer system. Since all of our systems were tested at identical speeds (all overclocked), we did not go further into testing DES software. If you're interested, you can see how the software performed in our Gigabyte GA-X48T-DQ6 review.