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Power Consumption And Temperatures

System Builder Marathon, March 2011: $500 Gaming PC

Both of these systems rely on an Antec EA380D power supply, and are tested stock with power-saving features enabled. During our overclocking efforts, Cool’n’Quiet was disabled and the CPU fan's minimum target speeds was increased.

Loading all CPU and GPU cores with FurMark and Prime95 gives us a good look at the maximum potential power draw these systems could face.

Undervolting facilitates a 600 MHz core speed increase with only a 7 W hit to power consumption at full CPU load. Factor in a disappointing graphics overclock, and peak system load only jumps 15 W.

Estimating roughly 82% efficiency, peak output draw during full CPU/GPU load converts to roughly 250 W, overclocked, down from the previous machine's 280 W.

We used the ASRock M3A770DE’s socket sensor for the CPU, charting peak temperatures above ambient.

Undervolting and bumping up the minimum idle RPM of the CPU fan helped keep the overclocked socket temperatures within one degree of the somewhat-high stock temps. December’s overclock may have pushed higher voltage and consumed more energy, but more effective cooling also kept temperatures far lower.

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