The Power Saving Guide, Part 2

Power Requirements Of Add-On Cards

Last but not least, we had a quick look at how the system power draw changes when you install popular add-on cards such as a network card or RAID storage controller. Although most motherboards come with at least four Serial ATA ports and one network port, it’s sometimes necessary to add more drives or to add networking capabilities, for example, to hook up your system to a DSL modem or to two different networks.

We selected an Intel Pro/1000 MT Gigabit Ethernet card, which was designed for the PCI-X bus ; these cards also work properly in a 32-bit PCI bus, although they’ll be bottlenecked at 133 MB/s. The second card was an Adaptec 1430SA SATA RAID controller for PCI Express. It is a fairly affordable add-on controller that supports single hard drives or RAID arrays. The Intel network card added 2 W to the system power requirements, while the RAID controller added an additional 5 W to the system power draw at the plug.

Test Setup

System Hardware
Socket 775 Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 (Conroe 65 nm, 2.93 GHz, 4 MB L2 Cache)
Motherboard Gigabyte 965P-DQ6
Chipset : Intel P965, BIOS : F10
Common Hardware
RAM I 2 x 1024 MB DDR2-800 (CL 4.0-4-4-12)
Corsair CM2X1024-6400C3 XMS6403v1.1
RAM II 2 x 1024 MB DDR2-1066 (CL 4.0-4-4-12)
Corsair CM2X1024-8888C4D XMS8804v1.1
Graphics Card I Zotac 8800GTS
GPU : Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT (500 MHz)
RAM : 320 MB GDDR3 (1200 MHz)
Graphics Card II Asus 7800GT
GPU : Nvidia GeForce 7800 GT (400 MHz)
RAM : 256 MB GDDR3 (1000 MHz)
Graphics Card III Nvidia Geforce 6800GT
GPU : Nvidia GeForce 6800 GT (350 MHz)
RAM : 256 MB GDDR3 (1000 MHz)
Hard Drive I 750 GB, 7,200 RPM, 8 MB Cache, SATA/300
Seagate Barracuda ES (3.5")
Hard Drive II 150 GB, 10,000 RPM, 8 MB Cache, SATA/150
Western Digital WD1500ADFD (3.5")
Hard Drive III 320 GB, 7,200 RPM, 16 MB Cache, SATA/300
Samsung SpinPoint HD321KJ (3.5")
Hard Drive IV 160 GB, 5,400 RPM, 8 MB Cache, SATA/150
Samsung HM160JI (2.5")
PSU Skyhawk Power One 600W
Nvidia 6800/7800 Graphics Forceware 93.71
Nvidia 8800 Graphics Forceware 158.22
Intel Chipset Version
DirectX Version : 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)
OS Windows XP, Build 2600 SP2
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