|Gigabyte GA-P55-UD6 Motherboard: P55 vs X58|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Thursday, 24 September 2009|
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Power Consumption Results
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". Motherboard manufacturers, in particular, have been touting their new energy saving features. How effective these power management system are, is exactly what we intend to measure in our power consumption tests.
Up to this point, Benchmark Reviews has compared one platform against another; P55 vs X58. The Intel Core i7-920 processor was tested on the X58-Express motherboard and compared directly to the Core i7-860 CPU installed on the mainstream P55-Express Gigabyte GA-P55-UD6 LGA1156 motherboard. Like I said at the beginning: it doesn't seem like a fair comparison on paper. As it turns out though, the P55/i7-860 combo has really done incredibly well against the more expensive X58/i7-920 combo. Looking back over all of our tests: EVEREST, PCMark05, Passmark PerformanceTest, CINEBENCH, Crysis, and Far Cry 2, it's surprising that the Gigabyte GA-P55-UD6 beat the X58 platform in the majority of benchmarks.
So then, since the Gigabyte GA-P55-UD6 is edging out its X58/i7-920 counterpart in our benchmarks, who does it compare in power consumption. Just take a look...
To measure system power consumption, Benchmark Reviews uses the Kill-A-Watt EZ (model P4460) power meter made by P3 International. A baseline test is taken as the system is allowed to boot into Windows and rest idle at the login screen for three minutes before power consumption is recorded. Once the baseline reading has been taken, Lavalys EVEREST Ultimate Edition is loaded and the System Stability Test is run with 100% stress on the CPU and FPU for five minutes and the results recorded. Next, the CPU, FPU, Cache, and System Memory stress options are turned on for five minutes. After the CPU/Cache/RAM test results are recorded, our final loaded power consumption reading is taken with the video card running at 100% using the FurMark stress test.
At idle, the Gigabyte GA-P55-UD6 system sips 88 watts total (see hardware loadout below), which is 33% more efficient than the Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P system that consumed 130W. I actually had to stop and think about this test for a minute; with everything else being the same (except for motherboard and processor), the P55 system just saved me 42W per hour at idle! With the CPU cores all running at 100%, the P55-UD6 consumed 173W while the EX58-UD4P system used 18% more electricity and measured 222W. Once the system cache and memory stress options were turned on, the P55 climbed eight watts to 181W while the X58 system added another ten watts for a total of 222W. Measuring GPU power consumption, the Gigabyte GA-P55-UD6 gobbled 320W when paired with the GeForce GTX 285, while the X58/i7-920 system required 12% electricity to do the exact same job, costing 363 watts.
Apparently the leap from Gigabyte's X58 12+2+2 power phase design with VRD 11.1 support to the current 24-phase power VRM in the P55 series is working very well.
P55 Test System
X58 Test System