Power Consumption Tests
Using our new PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01 or "Power Thingy" as it has become quickly known as to our readers, we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated graphics cards installed. Keep in mind; it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).
There are a few important notes to remember though; while our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10% more. We test at the exact same stage every time; therefore tests should be very consistent and accurate.
The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum - only a SSD hard drive is used with a single CD ROM and minimal cooling fans.
So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items, the draw is going to be higher.
The power numbers are really interesting here - you can see that the AMD platform is extremely efficient when you're looking at idle. The issue is at load it sits in between the two setups and the performance is clearly the worst when looking at them, even if we do see some great performance from the platform.
The power draw at load is highest for the X79 platform, but that doesn't come as much of a surprise. The worst thing is probably the idle power usage which sits 110w higher than the AMD setup and 60w higher than the Z68 one, which for the most part offers us very similar performance.