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GIGABYTE MD70-HB0 (Intel C612) Server Motherboard Review

By: William Harmon | Motherboards in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Feb 19, 2015 3:12 pm
TweakTown Rating: 96%Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

Power Consumption

 

We have upgraded our power testing equipment, and now use a Yokogawa WT310 power meter for testing. The Yokogawa WT310 feeds its data through a USB cable to another machine where we can capture the test results.

 

To test total system power use, we used AIDA64 Stability test to load the CPU, and then recorded the results. We also now add in the power use for a server from off state, to hitting the power button to turn it on, and take it all the way to the desktop. This gives us data on power consumption during the boot up process.

 

gigabyte-md70-hb0-intel-c612-server-motherboard-review_43

 

The MD70-HB0 uses ~100 watts at idle on the desktop, and it peaks at ~545 watts under full load. The MD70-HB0 drops in power usage after the test runs for ~30 seconds, and begins to run at the lowest power rate we have seen, which is ~50 watts lower than the other boards we have tested.

 

gigabyte-md70-hb0-intel-c612-server-motherboard-review_44

 

With the MD70-HB0, we see peak power use of ~355 watts during the boot-up process. After the boot-up process is complete, the system settles down to ~90 watts.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

This is the second dual socket 2011-E server motherboard from GIGABYTE we have tested in the lab, with the first one being the MD60-SC0.

 

Early on in our testing process, we found the performance of the MD70-HB0 to be average for a general-purpose server motherboard. This is okay for this particular class of boards where other factors such as board costs and reliability come into play.

 

gigabyte-md70-hb0-intel-c612-server-motherboard-review_45

 

Later on in our testing, we started to notice memory bandwidth was shaping up to be very good, and in other tests, single-threaded performance was improved. The MD70-HB0 also showed very good multi-threaded results in some tests. Ultimately, we ended up with a mixed bag of performance results. In some cases, we saw good numbers; and in other cases, the numbers were average. However, this is expected for general-purpose motherboards, and in most cases, we found it to be a good all-round board that would work well in many different types of systems.

 

It was not until our final power tests that we saw the real strengths of the MD70-HB0. Power usage of this board ranges in at about 50 watts lower in heavy loads in comparison to other motherboards we have tested. This may not seem like a big difference, but power use is a big issue in data centers, and lowering server power use by 50 watts per server can save a substantial amount in running costs. Lower server power use also results in lower heat output for each machine, which lowers cooling costs. We also expect that if you decide to run CPUs other than the monster E5-2699 v3s that we ran today, you could expect even lower power usage.

 

Just as we remarked in our review of the MD60-SC0, we like the new IPMI 2.0 features, and the new BIOS flash abilities that GIGABYTE offers on this new line-up of motherboards. In the end, we found the MD70-HB0 to be a very strong motherboard that offers a good balance in performance and power saving.

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Performance98%
Quality including Design and Build96%
General Features95%
Bundle and Packaging90%
Value for Money99%
Overall TweakTown Rating96%

The Bottom Line: Quality, feature load out, and reliability are a big part of server motherboard design, but when it all comes together with the best power savings we have seen in the lab, you have a real winner on your hands.

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