ASUS EPU 6
Now we move onto another upgrade of an existing technology, namely EPU 6. ASUS has named its EPU 6 as the all-round system power saver which is designed to reduce total system power and not just the CPU. How ASUS intends to do this is to not only control the voltage and phases of the CPU itself, but also the system memory, graphics card, HDD and fans; a total control centre design.
This is a far better upgrade from the original EPU design. However, while a good idea in theory, ASUS really didn't give the EPU enough control. Rather, it's just a simple on/off system. When the CPU was at idle, the board would shut down and use only four phases of energy. When the CPU would start to throttle up, the board would enable four extra phases, giving the boards eight phases of full power. While good in theory, compared to GIGABYTEs design it simply isn't technologically as advanced and this led to a lot of marketing campaigns from both ASUS and GIGABYTE. During our testing of the original setup, we found that EPU would even cause system crashes in prime95 when under hard load. It would simply not switch in quick enough to tackle the required loads.
As is possible with DES Advanced, EPU 6 also works when overclocking the system by the AI Overclocker or when doing it manually. And again, if you enable EPU 6 overclocking does take a hit. But thanks to the users interface, you can disable EPU 6 and go for broke for the highest CPU clock speed.
The Test Board
Moving to our test board, we have the ASUS P5Q Deluxe motherboard that we recently tested. Like the GIGABYTE board, we have selected a few tests mostly relating to power and overclocking, as we have already reviewed the board itself and know just how good it is.