Thermal Imaging and Power Consumption
System power usage is measured at the AC/DC PSU (the Corsair AX1200i) which I have connected to another system to measure the test system, and as a backup, I have a wall meter to verify. The CPU power is measured through the 8-pin connector, which is hooked up to a hall effect IC, which measures current and puts out a voltage in proportion to the current. That voltage is logged by a National Instruments ADC, which logs the DC voltage level that I then convert into current.
Note on Thermal Images: In the temperature section, we use our Seek thermal imaging camera to capture the surface temperatures of major components on the board. I look at the VRM and then all other things that light up the screen. If there is something to worry about, then I will state it. Otherwise, I will just show the hotter running parts of the board for fun. Unless some component is over 80-90C, then there isn't anything to worry about.
All systems will act differently, so I will look for commonalities, such as how far from the VRM the heat spreads through the PCB and the difference in temperature between the front side and backside of the PCB. Keep in mind, the majority of the heat from the VRM goes into the PCB as it is a giant soldered on copper heat sink. A larger difference in temperature between the back and front of the PCB points towards a more effective heat sink.
Thermal Testing at Stock Speeds:
The image on the left is always at idle, and the image on the right is at load. During ALL TESTS, fans above the VRM that cool the CPU cooler's (Corsair H110i GT) radiator are turned on to high (12v).
Up-close of the front of the VRM.
Up-close of the back of the VRM.
The VRM on the X150M-Plus WS is the bare basics when it comes to voltage regulators. The C232 chipset does not allow for iGPU outputs, so even if a CPU has an iGPU (such as the E3-1275v5 I used), it's not powered. Many of the E3-1200v5 Xeons do not have iGPUs, and their TDPs are low compared to i5 and i7 models, which is possibly why the motherboard is only rated to support i3s, Celerons, and Pentiums and not higher-end CPUs.
The three-phase VRM does its job fine, and the temperature came very close but didn't exceed 60C. I had no problem with throttling, and the PCB seems to do a nice enough job of cooling the MOSFETs, but I would use constant airflow over the VRM if you use water cooling.
Anything under 60C is great, 60-80C is acceptable, and anything above 80C is a bit worrisome (if at stock).
PRICING: You can find the GIGABYTE X150M-Plus WS (Intel C232) Motherboard for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link below to see real-time pricing for the best deal:
United States: The GIGABYTE X150M-Plus WS (Intel C232) Motherboard retails for $160 at Amazon.
United Kingdom: The GIGABYTE X150M-Plus WS (Intel C232) Motherboard retails for £96 at Amazon UK.
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