Articles: Mainboards

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Power Consumption

As we have already seen, Brazos mainboards may have dramatically different power consumption. For example, Gigabyte GA-E350N-USB3 participating in our today's test session is a negative character here, because its sloppy design adversely affected its power consumption.

The graphs below show the full power draw of the computer (without the monitor) measured after the power supply. It is the total of the power consumption of all the system components. The PSU's efficiency is not taken into account. The CPUs are loaded by running the 64-bit LinX 0.6.4 utility. We used FurMark 1.9 to load the graphics cores. Moreover, we enabled all existing power-saving technologies to ensure correct measurement of the computer's power draw in idle mode.

Sapphire PURE WHITE FUSION E350 boasts the best energy-efficiency in idle mode. It doesn’t have any additional controllers that is why it consumes very little energy in idle mode – a little over 8 W. Sapphire PURE FUSION MINI E350 is a little worse in this respect, but nevertheless, it can’t catch up with Gigabyte and even Atom based board is still far away enough.

Overall, things do not really change under processor-related load. The only thing we could probably bring up here is that Atom is yet another energy-efficient processor: here Gigabyte GA-D525TUD boasts the lowest power consumption of all. However, Sapphire PURE WHITE FUSION consumes almost the same amount of power, but unlike Atom D525 based platform can easily playback HD video and deliver acceptable 3D performance for low-level apps.

When we load the Radeon HD 6310 core quite heavily, Sapphire PURE WHITE FUSION once again proves how energy-efficient its design is. In this respect, Sapphire PURE FUSION MINI E350 is a little less successful, but do not forget that it has an additional USB 3.0 controller and a lot of SATA ports. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that MSI E350IS-E45 still remains the most energy-efficient mainboard in our possession so far.

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