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Intel Skulltrail Part 2: Overclocking & Power

Idle Power Consumption Higher Than AMD 4x4

We measured the power consumption of the CPUs directly at the socket.

At 88 Watts, the combined power consumption of the Skulltrail system's two Core 2 Extreme QX975 processors in idle is shockingly high. We are fairly certain that this must be due to an error in the board or the CPU. At any rate, Intel's Speed Step power saving feature did not work.

Even before we began the testing, Intel warned us in an email that enabling the power saving features on the motherboard would cause the system to crash. And it did. As soon as we enabled Vista's power saving settings, it crashed with a blue screen. We do not know whether the Speed Step functionality will be present and enabled in the final versions of the Skulltrail systems. The review board used a beta BIOS, and the processors we tested it with were still engineering samples.

At present, the dual-socket system draws more power when idle than AMD's 4x4 counterpart.