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

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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 I2 x 1024 MB DDR2-800 (CL 4.0-4-4-12)Corsair CM2X1024-6400C3 XMS6403v1.1
RAM II2 x 1024 MB DDR2-1066 (CL 4.0-4-4-12)Corsair CM2X1024-8888C4D XMS8804v1.1
Graphics Card IZotac 8800GTSGPU : Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT (500 MHz)RAM : 320 MB GDDR3 (1200 MHz)
Graphics Card IIAsus 7800GTGPU : Nvidia GeForce 7800 GT (400 MHz)RAM : 256 MB GDDR3 (1000 MHz)
Graphics Card IIINvidia Geforce 6800GTGPU : Nvidia GeForce 6800 GT (350 MHz)RAM : 256 MB GDDR3 (1000 MHz)
Hard Drive I750 GB, 7,200 RPM, 8 MB Cache, SATA/300(System)Seagate Barracuda ES (3.5")
Hard Drive II150 GB, 10,000 RPM, 8 MB Cache, SATA/150Western Digital WD1500ADFD (3.5")
Hard Drive III320 GB, 7,200 RPM, 16 MB Cache, SATA/300Samsung SpinPoint HD321KJ (3.5")
Hard Drive IV160 GB, 5,400 RPM, 8 MB Cache, SATA/150Samsung HM160JI (2.5")
PSUSkyhawk Power One 600WGM570PC
Nvidia 6800/7800 GraphicsForceware 93.71
Nvidia 8800 GraphicsForceware 158.22
Intel ChipsetVersion
DirectXVersion : 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)
OSWindows XP, Build 2600 SP2