We measured power consumption using Extech Power Analyzer 380803 device. This device was connected before the system PSU, i.e. it measured the power consumption of the entire system without the monitor, including the power losses that occur in the PSU itself. When we took the power readings in idle mode, the system was completely idle: there were even no requests sent to the hard drive at that time. We used LinX program to load the Intel Core i3-540 CPU. For more illustrative picture we created graphs showing the power consumption growth depending on the increase in CPU utilization as the number of active computational threads in LinX changed in nominal mode as well as during overclocking. The boards are sorted out in alphabetical order on the diagrams below.
Power consumption of the full-size Asus P7H57D-V EVO is noticeably higher than that of all other products, but we must remember that it is a unique fully-functional LGA1156 mainboard that is why this high reading is justified. P7H55D-M EVO and EVGA H55 mainboards are not very energy-efficient in idle mode in both: overclocked as well as nominal configuration. Although the power consumption of the EVGA mainboard during overclocking is lower than that of all others, because it doesn’t really overclock that well. As for all other mainboards, their energy-efficiency is very similar. The only thing I could add is that Intel DH55TC and MSI H57M-ED65 mainboards are maybe a little more economical in nominal mode.
The life of computer users would be much easier if every mainboard were like ASUS P7H55M-V EVO. During our tests we only noticed a few minor shortcomings but found a lot of advantages about this product. The single inconvenience in its PCB design is the position of the Clear CMOS jumper, but the mainboard keeps track of CPU over-overclocking and can restart in safe mode automatically, so you may not even have to use that jumper at all. We only used it to make sure that ASUS mainboards do not reset the date and time set in the BIOS unlike the majority of other mainboards. Another shortcoming is that the mainboard sets too high memory timings by default. However, you can manually set as aggressive timings as your memory modules support. But even if you neglect to do that, our tests suggest that the difference in speed won’t be conspicuous unless you run specialized benchmarks. Thus, the single notable drawback we can find about this mainboard is that is consumes too much power in idle mode. Its power consumption is comparable to that of a full-size ASUS P7H57D-V EVO and EVGA H55.
Outweighing these shortcomings are the numerous advantages such as a clever PCB design and a broad range of capabilities and additional controllers including USB 3.0. The BIOS options allow fine-tuning or overclocking the CPU and memory easily. So, if you are looking for a microATX mainboard for LGA1156 processors, you should certainly consider ASUS P7H55D-M EVO as a possible buy.