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 X79 Extreme6/GB it is determined by the enabled “Load Power Saving Mode” parameter in the BIOS. In this case the Vcore and VCCSA voltages are lowered by 0.05 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 X79 Extreme6/GB will not really stand out that much and will maintain the average power consumption level.
However, if we enable all existing power-saving technologies then the power consumption of most mainboards will drop. However, Intel mainboard is so incredibly energy-efficient right from the start that it remains an unattainable winner, and the most energy-hungry product in this pack will be the Gigabyte one, which proprietary power-saving technologies do not work.
During overclocking the most energy-efficient solution will be MSI Big Bang-XPower II, because it overclocked the processor without increasing its core voltage. The resulting CPU frequency on this mainboard is the lowest of all that is why it is not surprising that its power consumption in overclocked mode is also the lowest. However, as for ASRock X79 Extreme6/GB, it consumes less than ASRock Fatal1ty X79 Professional under any type of operational load, even though the latter overclocked the processor to the same exact frequency. In comparison with Gigabyte GA-X79-UD3, ASRock X79 Extreme6/GB is just a little bit behind.
Throughout this review we pointed out several minor issues we uncovered with the ASRock X79 Extreme6/GB mainboard. However, in conclusion I would like to once again stress its indisputable advantages. This mainboard comes with sufficient accessories bundle including a universal panel that provides two additional USB 3.0 ports. The PCB layout is overall good; it offers eight memory DIMM slots, two processor fan connectors supporting rotation speed adjustment, additional SATA and USB 3.0 controllers, buttons and POST-code indicator. The digital processor voltage regulator circuitry is built with high-quality components including tantalum capacitors. It works as 12+2 and supports dynamic adjustment of the number of active phases depending on the processor load even during overclocking. Three graphics card slots allow building AMD Quad CrossFireX, 3-Way CrossFireX and CrossFireX, as well as NVIDIA Quad SLI, 3-Way SLI and SLI configurations. The mainboard has pretty convenient BIOS that offers everything necessary for system configuring and fine-tuning. Everything we have just said can also be applied to a similar ASRock X79 Extreme6 mainboard, but the “SB” model comes with additional expansion card featuring a second Broadcom network controller and Creative Sound Core3D Audio processor. This is a unique distinguishing feature of the ASRock X79 Extreme6/GB mainboard, because there are not that many other products that come bundled with a Creative sound solution.