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Power, Heat, And Efficiency

From $100 To $160: Five Z68-Based Boards, Compared

ASRock has the lowest full-load power consumption, while MSI ties Intel for the lowest idle power. That tie is good news for MSI, since its board has a far more extensive feature set.

We had some difficulty finding the hot spot on Gigabyte’s Z68XP-UD3, but MSI’s voltage regulator temperature readings were far more stable and lower than the rest of the pack.

Less than one percent difference separates today’s top and bottom performers. That means performance has a negligible effect on efficiency.

Low power consumption at full load puts ASRock’s Z68 Pro3 on top of our efficiency chart, followed by MSI’s Z68A-GD55 with its low idle power. Energy misers must figure out which of these is most important based on their own use patterns.

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