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 an AC wall socket).
Power draw with the X58A-OC is pretty good considering everything that it has going on. Even with all of the power connectors populated we saw much more efficient use of power than on many other boards. It looks like with better components you get better power efficiency.
As a new measure, we are now monitoring the heat generation from the key components on the motherboard; this being the Northbridge, Southbridge (if it contains one) as well as the Mosfets around the CPU. The results are recorded at idle and load during the power consumption tests.
The temperatures are not bad at all either. I really would have expected them to be higher, but again the higher quality components some into play here.
The GIGABYTE X58A-OC is a board meant for overclocking. It has some issues, though. We were not able to get as high of a clock as we hoped and even then we did not see all of the performance numbers we expected. 3DMark11 performed great, but the PCMark Vantage scores were not there. This was due to the issue that we saw with our SSD and the SATA controller on this board. We have not been able to sort this issue out yet, but have a feeling that GIGABYTE will have a fix for this in the near future.
Still, even with those items it is obvious that they put a lot of thought into the design and component selection. You would not be making a bad decision if you picked one up. After all, there are benchmarks, tests, and scores that do not care about drive speed or at the very least do not care about the differences between IDE mode and AHCI. When you add in the $380 price tag things still look pretty good.
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