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Power Consumption And Temperatures

System Builder Marathon, June 2010: $550 Gaming PC
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Power Consumption

For all testing of these value systems, power-saving features were disabled and Windows 7’s power options were set to high performance. Keeping this in mind, let’s take a look at the total system power usage measured from the AC source.

Loading all CPU and GPU cores with FurMark and Prime95 creates an almost ridiculous demand, while giving us a good look at the maximum potential load the system could face. Here, the June PC barely consumes over 250W and even stays below 300W once overclocked. The pair of Radeon HD 4850s from March do offer more performance, but at the cost of much higher consumption.

Take these CPU core temperatures with a grain of salt, as at idle, they are a fraction of a degree cooler than our ambient room temperature. While this was an untrustworthy measurement, socket sensors and finger testing also indicate we are within a safe zone. Overriding the automatic CPU and GPU fan control isn’t a necessity for stability, but keep our overclocked temperatures more in line with the stock measurements.

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