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 Intel Core i7-930 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 (both at the default and overclocked system settings). We performed the test in four modes: idle mode, single-thread load, four-thread and eight-thread load.
Of course, power consumption increases during overclocking, but this increase is well compensated by the performance boost.
We have discussed a very appealing mainboard from Gigabyte today. The GA-X58A-UD5 (rev. 2.0) comes in a robust and informative package with good accessories. It has a handy PCB design and broad functionality, traditionally surpassing that of same-class mainboards from other manufacturers. Thanks to its numerous onboard controllers, you can connect as many as 12 SATA drives to it. It also offers three rather than two FireWire ports. Besides legacy interfaces (PS/2, FDD, IDE), the GA-X58A-UD5 (rev. 2.0) provides USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gbps connectivity. Making full use of its back-panel space, the mainboard helps you do without additional back-panel brackets with interface ports. Its BIOS is user-friendly, informative and rich in settings and we could easily overclock our CPU to achieve a substantial performance boost. Added to that, the GA-X58A-UD5 features a number of exclusive utilities and tools to make it even more pleasurable to use. In fact, we didn’t have any single problem with that mainboard during our tests.
Still, there are some things we might wish to see even in this very good product. For example, we’d want to have more detailed information about system voltages besides the CPU and memory ones. An opportunity to set up the speed of the connected fans right in the BIOS would also be handy. There are also no BIOS-based options for automatic CPU overclocking in Gigabyte mainboards. Available in other brands’ products, such overclocking options may be handy for inexperienced users.
We might find some other things to cavil at, but you can see we can’t discover any really serious downsides. Therefore, the Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD5 (rev. 2.0) should surely be on your list when you go shopping for an LGA1366 mainboard.