MSI Z68A GD80 G3 PCIe Gen 3.0 motherboard review

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Power Consumption and temperatures

Sandy Bridge Power Consumption and temperatures

Here's where we'll slowly move into actually testing the processors and respective chipsets.

The new Sandy Bridge based processors are a bit of a redesign alright and as a result they are quite energy friendly processors. What you'll notice a lot is that in idle these things kick ass in matters of power consumption, whereas at peak TDP they behave quite normally.

Unfortunately, once you insert a dedicated graphics card things change quickly. When we add a GeForce GTX 580 for example, that IDLE power consumption jumps upwards.

The motherboard demands a little more power though that can be tweaked in the BIOS, as you'll get several power state options. We choose a normal power state, and 'balanced' in Windows 7 energy management. You'll see two entries, the low power consumption is the motherboard without a graphics card installed (utilizing the internal graphics core on the processor), the second higher entry is the PC installed with a dedicated graphics card (GeForce GTX 580).

And above we stress the processor on all active cores and threads, we leave the GPU in idle. This would be your peak desktop power consumption.

Higher wattages in-between the same chipset based motherboards can be explained due to the use of many extra chips, like the extra USB 3.0 controllers, Hydra IC, PLX switch chips, extra SATA controllers, USB HUB and so on.

What we also wanted to show you as well is power consumption once overclocked. So we applied a CPU voltage of 1.4V to the processor, apply an overclock to 4800 MHz (on all CPU cores) and again stress the four CPU cores, power consumption now rises to 289W. And as crazy as that sounds... it's acceptable for an overclock at this level.


Temperature wise, 2500 and 2600 processors are roughly the same. The results above are based on the CoolIT ECO ALC unit. Temperatures differ per choice in cooling of course.

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