AMD's 890GX Chipset in Gigabyte 890GPA-UD3H

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Easy Energy Saver


Easy Energy Saver interface.

Gigabyte claims that their Easy Energy Saver dynamically adjusts CPU voltage and frequency to maximize power savings. We did not notice any difference in CPU clock speed behavior when Dynamic Frequency feature was activated. There are three settings for Dynamic Voltage, but all they did was apply a CPU voltage offset. The "1" setting undervolts the CPU by 0.025V, "2" by 0.050V, and "3" by 0.075V.

Detailed Power Consumption
Test State
Easy Energy Saver (3)
Stock Settings
System
CPU + VRM
Diff.
System
CPU + VRM
Diff.
Idle
36W
11W
25W
38W
12W
26W
BD Disturbia
(H.264 33mbps)
54W
16W
38W
57W
18W
39W
CPU Load
98W
67W
31W
110W
79W
31W
CPU + GPU
Load
114W
68W
46W
128W
80W
48W
CPU + VRM power measured from the AUX12V connector (combined DC draw of VRMs and CPU).

Using the "3" setting resulted in only minor savings when idle and on low load tasks like watching video. On full load however, we saw a 12~14W improvement in system power which is significant. Using the Easy Energy Saver feature is a quick way to make the system more energy efficient, but one could just as easily enter the BIOS and undervolt manually and to a larger degree.

Fan Control

To test the board's fan control, we connected the CPU fan to a manual fan speed controller so we could slow it down to induce higher CPU temperatures and connected three separate fans with varying maximum fan speeds to the onboard headers. Fan speeds and temperatures were monitored using SpeedFan as the system was stressed.

Fan Control
Criterion
CPU_FAN
(2470 RPM)
SYS_FAN1
(1600 RPM)
SYS_FAN2 (1840 RPM)
Min. Fan Speed
400 RPM
1100 RPM
1580 RPM
Trigger Temp.
30°C
N/A (constant)
N/A (constant)
Max. Fan Speed Temp.
60°C
N/A (constant)
N/A (constant)
Ambient temperature: 22°C

The board's automatic fan control made the CPU_FAN start at 400 RPM until the CPU temperature reached 30°C, increasing gradually until 60°C when it topped out. We appreciated the slow, gentle curve, but we were dismayed by the fact that neither of the other fans reacted to the temperature. For the duration of testing, SYS_FAN1 ran at a constant speed of about 70%, while SYS_FAN2 spun close to maximum.

SpeedFan Support

For Windows users, SpeedFan is our application of choice for fan control. It can be configured to raise or lower multiple fan speeds to designated limits when any specified temperature threshold is breached.


SpeedFan correlations.

SpeedFan can fully control both the CPU_FAN and SYS_FAN1 headers using 3-pin and 4-pin fans. To enable fan control, set PWM modes 1/2 in the Advanced menu to "Software Controlled." SpeedFan also presents temperature readings, which we found correlated to the CPU, Southbridge, and VRM area.



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