Since power consumption is a big deal these days, we ran some simple power consumption tests on our test beds. The systems ran with the power supplies, case fans, video cards and hard drives. To measure idle usage, we ran the system at idle for one hour on the desktop with no screen saver and took the measurement. For load measurements, Prime95’s in-place large FFT’s was run on all cores to make sure each and every processor was at 100% load for maximum power consumption and heat. We also ran Furmark 1.8 at 1280×1024 to put a full load on the graphics card. All systems were tested using identical hardware.
Power consumption of the ASUS Sabertooth X58 motherboard was a little higher than I would have liked to have seen. At idle it was pulling 141 watts at the wall which is nearly 22% higher than the MSI Big Bang XPower. Once we start putting a load on the CPU alone the difference drops to 14.5%, firing up the CPU as well as the GPU there is only a 9.8% difference.