MSI Big Bang X58 XPower review

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Power Consumption and temperatures

Power Consumption and temperatures

The Core i7 processors have gotten a bit of a redesign and are relatively energy friendly processors, well... as long as you do not overclock them that is. Next to that, clever power management allows the internal voltages and processors multiplier to drop, core independent.

All Gulftown (6-core) based processors have a TDP of 130W, which is similar to the initial Bloomfield Core i7 quad-core series. This processor being a six-core processor, that's quite an improvement and it shows this during our measurements:

Setup Idle(Balanced) Idle (High perf)  100% CPU
Reference X58 + 980X 139 150 272
ASRock X58 Extreme3 | 980X 129 134 256
Rampage III Extreme | 980X 139 150 272
MSI Big Bang XPower |980X 109 136 239

IDLE Balanced is the OS configured in BALANCED energy mode, with Speedstep throttling down the processor. In IDLE we draw 129W, that's with one ATI Radeon HD 5870 graphics card installed, yet the GPU in IDLE.
If we move the Windows 7 or Vista energy mode up to performance we see the wattage rise to 136W still in IDLE. Now once we STRESS the 6 cores we see a power draw of 239W (for the total PC, measured at wall socket). That's below reference actually. MSI's XPower (in it's class) has the best power consumption we have seen thus far.

Once we overclock to 4.5 GHz on all cores (we'll show you that in the next chapter) things get out of hand much quicker. For the best power consumption make sure you have BIOS features like EIST and C1E enabled and within Windows set your performance mode to balanced (allows the processor to clock down).

Let's have a look at processor temperatures.

MSI Big Bang X58 XPower

Temperatures are very good and under control. With an air cooler you can expect temps like these:

Temperatures Degrees C


100% CPU load

XPower / Core i7 980X



Now before you say 'awesomness on the temps duuuud' this test was conducted with a liquid cooling setup, so that's not really a reference point. We opted liquid cooling as we want to go a bit higher then normal (or at least try) in our overclock.  Of course results will vary with different motherboards and cooling solutions. 100% CPU load boils down to 6 cores /12 threads 100% stressed with Prime 95, voltages are left at default, processor Turbo mode is enabled.

Overclocked temps of course will differ, but we'll show you that in a second.

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