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Six $200-$260 LGA 2011 Motherboards, Reviewed

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.

  • I like Asrock boards. I have an 880GM-LE mATX and a Z68 Pro3 Gen3 ATX and both are good performance and price-performance wise.
    Reply
  • hellfire24
    Asrock is dominating both high end and mid range market.extreme3/gen3 1155 is awesome and cheapest pci-e 3.0 sli capable mobo.Asrock FTW!!!
    Reply
  • Achoo22
    Quite simply, the costs associated with Sandy Bridge-E are higher, in part because of Intel's prices and also because the boards are more difficult to design.

    Since the boards all have vastly superior profit margins, your statement is misleading. Why is everyone too afraid to reveal the truth about motherboard pricing?
    Reply
  • bartholomew
    ASRock has come a long way!
    Reply
  • AlexIsAlex
    Would it be possible, in future motherboard reviews, to include a measure of the cold boot (POST) time? This is something that different bioses can be differentiated on, and UFEI offers the potential for very fast boots if manufacturers take advantage of it properly.

    A comparison of the time between the power button being pressed and the installed bootloader starting would be very interesting to me. I was thinking it might be easiest to measure this by having no OS on the boot media and measuring the time to the "please insert boot media" message, but I'm sure you can think of other ways of doing it.

    I'm also informed that on some boards the boot time varies dramatically dependent on whether any Overclocking is enabled, as compared to the stock settings - that would also be worth knowing.
    Reply
  • americanbrian
    your feature table says the asrock extreme 4 comes with an 8 phase voltage regulator, but the text of article says 10 phase...which is it ?
    Reply
  • crisan_tiberiu
    ASRock = ASUS :)
    Reply
  • KT_WASP
    crisan_tiberiuASRock = ASUS
    not anymore, asrock is no longer affiliated with Asus and is owned by Pegatron Corp.
    Reply
  • memadmax
    I wish tom's would do a "best motherboards for the money" or something close to that.
    Reply
  • Pegatron sounds like a merger between PegASUS + Megatron (or something like that).
    Reply