The Power Saving Guide

Component Power Requirements

The following table is based on numbers that we’ve collected in our test lab. The power supply power requirements refer to the heat dissipation, which all power supply units struggle with. The better the PSU efficiency, the less power it will convert into heat. The motherboard requirement summarizes the requirements for all motherboard components such as Northbridge, Southbridge, additional controllers and voltage regulators, as well. Processor and memory power requirements depend directly on the motherboard, as the efficiency of voltage regulators has an impact as well. The table does not include dual graphics setups ; these would increase the requirements even more.

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ComponentBest CaseWorst Case
Power Supply5-15 W40-60 W
Motherboard10-15 W30-50 W
Processor12-30 W60-120 W
RAM5-15 W30-50 W
Hard Drive3-5 W (2.5")10-15 W (3.5")
Graphics Card (single)3-10 W (integrated)25-180 W (PCI Express)
Total38-90 W195-475 W

Test Setup

We used a rather conventional Intel Core 2 system with a P965 motherboard from Gigabyte :

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System Hardware
Socket 775Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 (Conroe 65 nm, 2.93 GHz, 4 MB L2 Cache)
MotherboardGigabyte 965P-DQ6Chipset : Intel P965, BIOS : F10
Common Hardware
RAM I2x 1024 MB DDR2-800 (CL 4.0-4-4-12)Corsair CM2X1024-6400C3 XMS6403v1.1
RAM II4x 512 MB DDR2-800 (CL 4.0-4-4-12)Corsair CM2X512-8500C5 XMS85053v1.1
Graphics CardZotac 8800GTSGPU : Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTS (500 MHz)
RAM320 MB GDDR3 (1200 MHz)
Hard Drive I750 GB, 7,200 RPM, 8 MB Cache, SATA/300(System + Replacement)Seagate Barracuda ES
Hard Drive II100 GB, 7,200 RPM, 2 MB Cache, UltraATA/100Western Digital WD1000BB
Hard Drive III120 GB, 7,200 RPM, 8 MB Cache, UltraATA/100Seagate Barracuda 7200.7
Hard Drive IV160 GB, 7,200 RPM, 8 MB Cache, SATA/150Seagate Barracuda 7200.7
PSUSkyhawk Power One 600W GM570PC
Nvidia GraphicsForceware158.22
Intel ChipsetVersion
DirectXVersion : 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)
OSWindows XP, Build 2600 SP2