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. The mainboards on the diagrams are sorted out in alphabetical order.
Of course, we were ready that ECS P67H2-A mainboard would be the most power-hungry because of the additional Lucid Hydra controller. However, once you compare the results of both Elitegroup mainboards, you will see that this chip doesn’t contribute too much to the total system power consumption. It consumes only 6 watts of power, which means that it is not as power-hungry as Nvidia NF200, for example. However, both Elitegroup mainboards still turned out the least energy-efficient in all test modes and under all types of load. So, it would be unfair to blame the additional controller for this failure: it is installed only on one mainboard, but both of them are very uneconomical. Looks like there could be some issues with the processor voltage regulator circuitries on Elitegroup mainboards.
The results obtained during overclocking only once again back up the results in the nominal mode. ECS P67H2-A mainboard is again the least energy-efficient board of all testing participants leaving behind even the solution from MSI, which power-saving technologies do not work during overclocking. However, ECS P67H2-A2 also doesn’t look too good. It allowed overclocking the CPU to 4.7 GHz, the core voltage didn’t rise as greatly as it would when we overclock to 4.8 GHz on many other mainboards. However, this mainboard consumes more power than Gigabyte board working in the same conditions and even more than some other mainboards that could overclock the processor to the maximum, such as Intel, for instance. Unfortunately, energy-efficiency is not one of Elitegroup’s strengths.
I have to say that ECS P67H2-A and ECS P67H2-A2 mainboards look practically impeccable only in terms of exterior design and theoretical functionality. Among the minor drawbacks we only pointed out too few fan connectors, which is not a critical problem. However, the longer you work with a mainboard, the more issues you may uncover. Inconvenient BIOS with serious errors, not very useful or even completely non-operational software, increased power consumption of both mainboards… They took great care of users by providing additional connector brackets or USB 3.0 panel, but at the same time acted with great neglect by making the black cursor in the BIOS completely invisible against the dark background. Elutegroup’s traditionally low price could help these boards compete more or less successfully against the rivals, but the difference this time didn’t turn out as convincing as we had expected. Of course, with a price tag around $300 ECS P67H2-A looks quite competitive against a 400-dollar MSI Big Bang-Marshal (B3), but the direct comparison is hardly proper in this case, since these boards are way too different even though both have the same Lucid Hydra controller onboard. Besides, this super-high price point implies very limited user demand right from the start. As for ECS P67H2-A2, the situation here is even worse, because there are a lot of very appealing solutions from other makers in the $200 price range. On the spot I could list the following possible competitors: Asus P8P67 EVO, Asus P8P67 Pro, more exotic Sapphire Pure Black P67 or cheaper Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD4-B3 and MSI P67A-GD65 (B3). As a result, the success of ECS P67H2-A and P67H2-A2 mainboards may be quite a challenge, although e sincerely wish Elitegroup not to stop at this point and keep up the good work in developing their very promising Black mainboard series.