Power, Heat, And Efficiency
Intel demonstrates the lowest idle power consumption, while MSI matches it, on average, with the lowest full-load power consumption. ECS' idle power result could be slightly off due to the fact that we had to use a C1-stepping processor with its qualifying firmware revision.
A big heat sink on MSI’s voltage regulator, along with moderate power consumption, contributes to impressive thermals at stock CPU settings. Biostar’s second-place temperature is equally notable given its higher power consumption.
With less than 1% performance difference separating various motherboards, efficiency is primarily a reflection of power consumption. MSI's 0.1% advantage in the benchmarks barely puts the X79A-GD45 8D over Intel's DX79TO for the top two positions.