|Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P DDR2 P45 Motherboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by Bruce Normann - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Sunday, 25 January 2009|
Page 14 of 16
Life is not as affordable as it used to be, and items such as fuel and electrical energy top the list of resources that have exploded in price over the past few years. Add to this the limit of non-renewable resources compared to demand and you can see that the prices are only going to get worse. Planet Earth is needs our help, and needs it badly. With forests becoming barren of vegetation and snow capped poles quickly turning brown, the technology industry has a new attitude towards suddenly becoming "green".
Power Consumption Results
During the test period, four different conditions were examined. For the first, the power supply was plugged in and switched on (the actual ON/OFF switch on the PSU itself). The system doesn't "turn on" at this point, but the PSU is always supplying 5VDC to pin 9 of the ATX 24 pin power connection, so that the front panel power switch can function. This is known in energy circles as an energy "Vampire", and the U.S. Department of Energy has estimated that this class of devices and operating modes (Instant On Anything, Wall Warts, Docking Stations, and device displays) can suck up 5-10% of an average home's electricity use. Each test was repeated three times, and the averages are displayed (although each test result was identical to the previous).
The second test was to start the system without the video card installed. This gets the motherboard into Power On Self Test (POST) mode, where it stops and does not continue to boot, due to the VGA error. This motherboard has no integrated Video capability, so I didn't have to modify the BIOS to get it to error out. This condition is really the minimum possible load for an operating system, which include a HDD, a DVD drive, keyboard, and mouse. I unplugged all the extra case fans for these tests, the only fans running were the CPU cooler fan(s) and the GPU cooler for the third and fourth tests.
The third test is a normal boot into Windows. I looked at the power consumption at the login screen and after login, once the OS was finished loading all the programs, processes and services. It turned out to be the same power draw in this case, once the OS settled down to. The fourth test was a synthetic 100% load, created by the System Stability Test in EVEREST Ultimate Edition, with all loads enabled.
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 systems were tested in an overclocked state, we did not test using the DES software. If you're interested, you can see how the software performed in our Gigabyte GA-X48T-DQ6 review.
The results are well within expectations, and are actually some of the lowest values I've seen on Benchmark Reviews. Results are not completely standardized across our testing platforms, because different supporting hardware (PSU, HDD, SSD, CPU Cooler, Video card, etc.) is used in many of the reviews. The results in this test are at least typical of what a mid-level system will require in terms of power consumption, and very consistent with results that others at Benchmark Reviews have obtained with similar hardware.