|Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD7 Motherboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Friday, 26 February 2010|
Page 15 of 17
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 each X58-Express motherboard against one-another in benchmark performance tests. For this section, only one topic is of primary concern: electrical power consumption. So then, since the Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P has relegated as the reference for our benchmarks, it should be interested to see how old power-management technology compares to the new features.
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.
Power consumption is at it's least-controlled state before the Operating System and drivers can manage system hardware and deliver commands to control power efficiency. For this reason, power usage within the BIOS setup page is much higher than at idle. The Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P, which lacks a second Ethernet port or additional USB-3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s controllers, offered the best result at 166 watts of consumption. The Gigabyte X58A-UD7 required not more than 170W (169W average), while the ASUS P6X58D-Premium fit in-between with 168W consumed maximum. At idle, both the Gigabyte GA-X58-UD7 and ASUS P6X58D-Premium measured identical 136W, which is slightly more than the EX58-UD4P required.
When the power is turned up for 100% processor utilization, all three motherboards increased power consumption by nearly 84 watts each. When the processor, system memory, and cache subsystem were all taxed, the EX58-UD4P increased by 92W over idle, while the Gigabyte GA-X58-UD7 added 96W and the ASUS P6X58D-Premium consumed 94W. Taken as a whole, all three X58-Express motherboards shared nearly identical power efficiency features and delivered similar power consumption. The level of power savings can be further improved using Intel SpeedStep and Core-i7 C-state features in conjunction with motherboard tools such as Gigabyte's Dynamic Energy Saver Advanced tool.