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).
It’s no wonder that the Gigabyte G1.Sniper 3 needs more power than the others in every test mode and at every load. It just has a constantly working PCI Express switch PLX PEX 8747. On the other hand, the specified power consumption of that chip is only 8 watts, and the G1.Sniper 3 would still have higher power consumption than the other mainboards even if we subtracted that number. The same goes for the overclocked settings, although the CPU was overclocked to a lower frequency on the G1.Sniper 3. The high power draw is a downside of the reviewed mainboard.