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Power Consumption

System Builder Marathon: $625 Gaming PC

A number of readers have repeatedly requested that we add power-consumption data to the SBMs, and this month we are now able to provide total system power (of just the machine itself) measured from the wall outlet. 

Low-level overclocking with Riva Tuners was quick and easy, but it dramatically raised our idle-power consumption as the high clock speeds were running both in 2D and 3D. When overclocking with CCC, the 2D clocks cycle down to a very low level, so the extra 40 MHz gain that Riva offered compared to CCC did provide some extra FPS in games, but it came at the expense of full-time lower energy efficiency.   

Under load, we see the added power demands that our increased voltages and clock speeds have on system power consumption. 

For SBM performance testing, power-saving features such as CPU Enhanced Halt and CPU EIST Function were both disabled. Also, Gigabyte’s Dynamic Energy Saver Advanced was not installed until all testing was complete, as we did not want any interference when reaching our maximum overclocked speeds. After installing and enabling these utilities, power consumption in idle mode dropped to 89 W while load consumption dropped to a more-impressive 180 W. However, no performance testing was conducted with these settings and we can’t assume there was no loss in performance when enabled.

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