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’s power consumption grows up depending on the number of active execution threads in LinX. The mainboards are sorted in alphabetical order on the diagrams.
It is hard to overlook dramatically high - almost 100 W – power consumption of Gigabyte G1.Sniper 2 mainboard in idle mode. And the reason is not the faulty design, power-hungry controllers or any other peculiarities that make it consume so much power. This is the consequences of the fact that all power-saving technologies are disabled by default. So, we should blame incorrect default settings, because during overclocking when all power-saving was on, the board’s power appetite wasn’t that much different from any others’.
I am sure that Gigabyte considers the integrated Creative CA20K2 sound processor and Bigfoot Killer E2100 network controller to be the key features of their G1.Sniper 2 mainboard. It is true, only Gigabyte mainboards from the gaming “K1-Killer” series boast these features, so we won’t deny their benefits. However, it is important to keep in mind a few other peculiarities of this product. It has very smart and thought-through design, supports all contemporary features and interfaces including USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gbps. Yes, IEEE1394 (FireWire) support is missing, but is it really necessary? You can use the graphics core integrated into the processor, utilize unique technologies of the Intel Z68 Express chipset such as LucidLogix Virtu and Intel Smart Response. The board overclocks processors well, memory – a little worse, but I have to specifically stress its extremely handy automatic overclocking feature that allows to quickly and easily go back to the nominal system settings. And don’t forget the 5-inch panel that brings USB 3.0 and eSATA/USB Combo to the system case front as well as a very efficient cooling system with truly unique looks and style. All in all, this mainboard has a ton of advantages, but one pretty serious drawback: all power-saving modes and technologies are disabled in the BIOS by default, which seriously affects not only power consumption but also performance, because in this case Intel Turbo Boost technology is only partially functional. I am sure that the owners of Gigabyte G1.Sniper 2 mainboard will have no problem enabling all of them manually. However, it is manufacturer’s responsibility to ensure that the most optimal settings are chosen for the default mode, including power-saving and Intel Turbo Boost.