Gigabyte MA785GPMT-UD2H 785G Motherboard

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Comparatives - System Power Consumption

Estimated DC System Power Comparison
(X3 720 @ 2.8GHz, C&Q on)
Test State
Gigabyte
785GPMT
Asus
M4A785TD-V
MSI
785GM-E65
Asus
M4A78T-E
Idle
34W
40W
31W
39W
Rush Hour
(H.264)
56W
45W
37W
41W
Coral Reef
(WMV-HD)
61W
56W
51W
47W
Drag Race
(VC-1)
66W
70W
60W
54W
Disturbia
(Blu-ray H.264)
62W
54W
41W
53W
CPU Load
108W
100W
99W
95W
CPU + GPU
Load
115W
109W
107W
111W

The 785GPMT used 9W more on average than the Asus 790GX and Asus/MSI 785G boards. The MSI 785GM-E65 in particular, shamed the 785GPMT, drawing 20W less during H.264 playback. The Gigabyte did exhibit quite low idle power consumption though, which is quite important since most systems sit idle for the majority of the time that they are powered on.

Estimated DC System Power Comparison
(X3 720 @ 1.6GHz, best undervolt, C&Q off)
Test State
Asus
M4A785TD-V
(1.025V)
Asus
M4A78T-E
(0.9125V)
Gigabyte
785GPMT
(0.950V)
MSI
785GM-E65
(0.940V)
Idle
43W
35W
35W
31W
Rush Hour
(H.264)
47W
40W
40W
37W
Coral Reef
(WMV-HD)
48W
40W
41W
39W
Drag Race
(VC-1)
50W
42W
44W
40W
Disturbia
(Blu-ray H.264)
52W
44W
44W
41W
CPU Load
57W
46W
49W
45W
CPU + GPU
Load
66W
64W
58W
55W

When undervolted to the minimum stable core voltage to sustain 1.6GHz, the 785GPMT did far better better, using only slightly more energy than the MSI board. The Asus M4A785TD-V was easily the worst of the bunch as its BIOS has a comparatively high minimum CPU voltage.

Cooling

Lower cost boards ship with simple heatsinks on the Northbridge and Southbridge while those targeted at enthusiasts typically have large heatpipe coolers and heatsinks on the voltage regulation modules near the CPU socket. A well-cooled motherboard can deliver better power efficiency and stability.

Heatsink Temperatures
Heatsink
Southbridge
Northbridge
VRM
MSI 785GM-E65
50°C
64°C
61°C
Asus M4A785TD-V
57°C
70°C
61°C
Asus M4A78T-E
50°C
85°C
63°C
Gigabyte 785GPMT
49°C
81°C
95°C
DFI 790GX-M3H5
60°C
86°C
80°C
Measured with a spot thermometer at the hottest point of each location after 15 minutes of full CPU + GPU load.
CPU fan reduced to 8V.
Ambient temperature: 22°C

With its lack of VRM cooling and smaller northbridge heatsink, the 785GPMT ran very hot during full CPU and GPU load. The northbridge reached 81°C and the VRMs a sizzling 95°C on our open testbed. Inside a case with directed airflow around these components, temperatures will likely be substantially lower, but the Gigabyte fares poorly compared to the MSI and Asus 785G boards, which do have VRM heatsinks. We also noticed that system power consumption during load increased gradually, eventually topping out at 8W higher than when the load test was initiated. Typically we see only a 3~4W rise caused by the VRM/NB temperature rise under extended high load.



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