|Gigabyte H55N-USB3 Mini-ITX Motherboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by Servando Silva|
|Sunday, 11 July 2010|
Page 16 of 18
Gigabyte H55N-USB3 Power Consumption
I've been talking about a high-efficiency platform since I started writing this review. High efficiency represents processing power between power consumption. Less power consumption means higher efficiency. The ASRock ION 330 is a very unique platform because it draws a very small potency out of our AC sockets. This platform can work with less than 25 watts at idle mode and no more than 40 watts at full load. That's very similar to what a standard laptop can achieve, and so the efficiency is high, especially considering it works as an HTPC and reproduces 1080p videos.
The Mini-ITX H55 motherboards are planned to have a very high efficiency if powered with the appropriate CPU. The real deal here, is that most users will buy this motherboard and pair it with a Clarkdale CPU such as the Core i3 530 or a Core i5 661. These processors have a low TDP compared to the Core i7 LGA1366 CPUs. So, let's pair a Core i3 530 CPU to this platform and measure the overall power consumption with a P3 International Kill-a-watt EZ power meter. The CPU performance of a Core i3 has proven to be at least 3 times faster than the Atom CPU and sometimes up to 5 times faster. But, does it consume 3 times more power than the ION 330 platform?
At idle mode, theH55 mini-ITX platform consumes double the potency of an Atom processor. While this configuration could be improved by using a higher-efficiency PSU, we don't think we could get below 25 watts as the ION did. At idle mode, the GIGABYTE H55N-USB3 consumes 3 less watts compared to the ECS H55H-I. Next measurements were done while watching an HD 1080p H.264 video. This time, the mini-ITX H55 platforms need around 15 extra watts to do the work (and remember this is with DXVA enabled).
Playing Street Fighter IV required 75 watts in both ECS and GIGABYTE motherboards, doubling the power consumption but delivering worst performance than the ASRock ION 330. Overall, it seems the H55 platform paired with the smallest Core i3 CPU always needs at least double the power an ION platform, which looks like a lot, but considering it delivers 3-5 times the performance of the Atom CPU, it represents a higher efficiency platform at the end. Additionally, you can always stick a Core i5 which delivers higher CPU processing power while keeping very similar measurements at idle mode.