MSI Z77A-G45 GAMING Motherboard Power Consumption
Most OEM built PC’s ship with standard or proprietary power supply and they tend not to exceed 450 watts top end. While that might be enough power for a standard PC, overclocked multi-GPU enthusiast systems can easily exceed 700 or 800 watts under load, and can go even higher with extreme cooling and high voltages.
Perhaps this is why all CPU and GPU vendors are embedding their products with power-saving features, and why motherboard vendors try to add even more. And the use of these features can make a significant difference in the power use of your system.
To test the power-saving features of the ASRock Z87E-ITX motherboard, I measured the power draw of the system (with no video card, and the monitor connected to the iGPU) with all the power-saving features in the “ECO” section of the UEFI enabled, and again with all the power-saving features disabled.
|Windows Login||Idle at Desktop||AIDA64 Stability Test||Sleep|
|ECO enabled||36 watts||35 watts||99 watts||1 watt|
|ECO disabled||37 watts||37 watts||99 watts||1 watt|
|ECO disabled, OC||37 watts||38 watts||114 watts||1 watt|
There was no noticeable difference between the system power consumption results with energy saving enabled or disabled and the idle power consumption was much higher than was expected. I believe this is due to running an all-in-one liquid CPU cooler which demands more power than fans alone. The significant results are noticeable under load conditions, where the entire system is consuming less power than a high end video card will use.
In the 60′s and 70′s there was a big ecology movement after oil prices had risen sharply and we collectively realised that we could not sustain our then current level of consumer lifestyles. In the ensuing years the economy changed for the better and consumption ramped up sharply. We now find ourselves consuming more than ever and we once again need to realise that natural resources can’t possibly sustain us forever. We need to demand more energy efficient products. We need to demand better built and longer lasting hardware. But most of all, we need self control and a more conscious approach towards our consumer habits. Planned obsolescence isn’t helping either but thankfully we are reaching a point where ‘Moores Law’ is beginning to slow it’s pace and maybe our hardware will just have to serve us longer.