Processor: Intel Core 2 Extreme Q6800 @ 3GHz (9x333MHz)
Memory: 2x 1GB DDR3-1800XMP OCZ (Supplied by OCZ)
Hard Disk: 500GB Seagate 7200.9 (Supplied by Seagate Australia)
Graphics Card: MSI GeForce 8800GTS 640MB (Supplied by MSI)
Cooling: GIGABYTE 3D Galaxy II (Supplied by GIGABYTE)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP SP2
Drivers: Intel INF 126.96.36.1993, Forceware 169
Today we have the GIGAYBE X48T-DQ6 motherboard which is the second board we have tested to host DES; the first was the X48-DQ6 supporting DDR2. Today's test candidate uses DDR3 which is even more energy efficient compared to its older counterpart, giving it a better power saving from the beginning. The Counterpart is the ASUS P5E3 Premium Wifi.
Power Usage - Windows XP
The power usage here was measured with our plug-in wall unit that gives us a low and high reading, depending on load. We aren't going to use the software to tell us, as this can be a bit misleading sometimes. Since both systems use different software and power usage monitors, we will use our trusted wall plug-in method.
Under XP we used both 3DMark06 running over five loops as well as Running Prime95 for 24 hours to get us a true high and low reading. Low was recorded when Windows was loaded and sat idle for a period of 10 minutes doing absolutely nothing.
First we have Windows XP in idle mode. Comparing the two systems against each other the GIGABYTE boards and ASUS board are just about on top of each other. Since both boards are running on four phases (a true four for ASUS, Dual two phase for GIGABYTE) there isn't much difference. However, we do see DES giving a slightly lower power reading.
Next up, we have the system running 3DMark06 and here is where GIGABYTE managed to get a leg up on the ASUS board. During tests we noticed the ASUS board was at full power running all eight phases. The GIGABYTE board managed to run around 8-10 phases and only jumped to 12 once. Thanks to its more efficient power regulation system the GIGABYTE board was able to use less power under load.
While it was able to use less, it also stayed a lot more stable; the ASUS board when under load was jumping around quite a bit on our voltage monitor, spiking as high as it did and then dropping. We noticed a couple of lag jumps where it looked as if the CPU wasn't getting the right amount of power, but we can't be 100% sure on that. The GIGABYE board remained fully stable however.
Prime95 was the big test; we ran it at full number crunching power with the power systems enabled, and what we got was a good result. The GIGABYTE boards performed the Prime95 test with flying colours; it did not crash once or have any errors from the end result.
The ASUS board however caused a few errors as it seemed to be lacking some power at times and caused a system crash about two hours into one of the tests. We did a reset and started again; all worked fine, but there were still some errors in the results. It seems that the DES system has a more stable power flow than the ASUS EPU.