We performed our power consumption measurements using an Extech Power Analyzer 380803. This device is connected before the PSU and measures the power draw of the entire system (without the monitor), including the power loss that occurs in the PSU itself. In the idle mode we start the system up and wait until it stops accessing the hard disk. Then we use LinX to load the CPU. For a more illustrative picture there are graphs that show how the computer power consumption grows up depending on the number of active execution threads in LinX (both at the default and overclocked system settings). The mainboards on the diagrams are sorted out in alphabetical order.
We often point out that on many mainboards certain power-saving technologies are disabled by default. Therefore, besides power consumption in nominal mode with all default settings, we also measured the power consumption of test systems with all power-saving technologies (including the proprietary ones) manually enabled. The difference between these two tests is usually quite obvious, but in case of ASRock Fatal1ty X79 Professional we detected a very slight lowering of the power consumption in idle mode. That is why we enabled “Load Power Saving Mode” parameter in the BIOS, which lowered the CPU Vcore and VCCSA by 0.5 V, which indeed produced certain power consumption lowering in all operational modes.
As a result, if we compare the power consumption of our testing participants in nominal mode, then ASRock Fatal1ty X79 Professional will be the least energy-efficient.
However, if we enabled all existing power-saving technologies then the power consumption of all mainboards will drop. However, Intel mainboard is so incredibly energy-efficient right from the start that it remains an unattainable winner.
Of course, Asus quite logically consumes more power during overclocking, because it managed to reach higher CPU clocks than any other mainboard in this test session.
During the detailed discussion of the features and functionality of the new ASRock Fatal1ty X79 Professional mainboard we often compared it to competitor products: memory and graphics card slots – like on Asus mainboards, 2 oz copper layer PCB – like in Gigabyte mainboards, USB 3.0 transformer-bracket – like on ECS mainboards. It is a perfectly normal situation, because all competitors carefully watch one another and try to adopt the best features and solutions in their own products. Therefore, it is certainly understandable that ASRock did their best to ensure that their flagship model will have the best of the best in it. As a result, they came up with a truly unique product, which also boasts a number of exclusive unique features such as System Browser and Fatal1ty Mouse Port. The mainboard still has a few design concerns, its power consumption could have been lower than we saw in our tests, and the CPU didn’t reach its maximum frequency during overclocking. However, let’s not forget that the mainboard was officially launched in the end of February, so there is high possibility that the issues will be fixed in the upcoming BIOS updates.
All in all ASRock Fatal1ty X79 Professional made a very positive impression. And considering the company’s traditionally attractive pricing policy, we expect it to be available at a lower price than the competitors with comparable features and functionality.