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Power And Heat

System Builder Marathon, Dec. 2011: System Value Compared

The slowest system consumes the least overall power, while the fastest configuration requires the most. That, of course, doesn’t account for the $1200 system’s poor idle power consumption, nor its poor processor load power use.

The only reason the fastest machine sucks down the most power, then, is its horribly power-hungry GeForce GTX 580 graphics cards.

Mini liquid coolers do not help the $2400 PC keep ahead of its competition with regard to temperature. They do, however, help dissipate the greater amount of heat generated by highly overclocked GF110 GPUs. With above-ambient temperatures this low, the $2400 machine is better-equipped than most humans to tolerate room temperatures well over 40° Celsius.

Always a great value play, Xigmatek’s Gaia looks even better in the $1200 PC than it did in our review.

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