Articles: Mainboards

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Power Consumption

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 (both at the default and overclocked system settings). The mainboards are sorted in alphabetical order on the diagrams.

When we ran the tests in the nominal mode on MSI Z68A-GD80 (G3) mainboard, we enabled “ECO Mode”, but we can’t seem to notice any serious difference from the B3 mainboard on the power consumption charts. However, in overclocked mode our today’s hero takes over the leadership ousting Biostar TZ68K+ from the winner’s spot.

Of course, we didn’t manage to overclock our test processor on MSI Z68A-GD80 (G3) as well as we did on other mainboards, but despite this fact its Vcore increases to about the same level and this is the major factor affecting power consumption. In fact, it is pretty obvious why Biostar mainboard used to be the leader: it is a fairly simple model with very few additional onboard controllers. Unlike Biostar’s mainboard, the MSI one is equipped with a complete set of extras, but nevertheless, it consumes just as little or even less. At last we can enjoy the advantages of high-quality electronic components, which have been used on MSI mainboards for a long time now.

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