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The Intel DH67BL and Asus P8H67-M EVO were pitted against each other at stock settings and with two of the Asus board's most touted features turned on, GPU Boost (which overclocks the BLCK to 103 MHz and the GPU to 1450 MHz) and EPU, a power saving feature. For information regarding the second generation integrated GMA HD graphics' video playback capability, please see our GMA HD 2000 / 3000 article.
Core i3-2100 Test Results
The DH67BL has the same main strength as its predecessor, the DH55TC. Its power consumption is excellent, lower than the P8H67-M EVO by about three watts across the board. Enabling EPU helped the Asus board sneak past the Intel board on load, but did not improve its idle and video playback energy usage.
The power draw measured at the AUX12V connector was rather unusual. The Intel board pulled about 2~4 watts more, despite having better overall system power consumption. The P8H67-M EVO has a 2 phase power design just for the CPU's integrated memory controller. This could easily account for the difference. Either way, our i3-2100 used much less than its 65W TDP rating. (Editor's Note: We cannot be 100% certain at this time that the CPU draws power only from the AUX12V line. Some of you may already be aware that the i7-1366 socket CPUs can draw as much as ~40W for its memory management portion from the main 24-pin ATX power connector. We will confirm later whether the Sandy Bridge draws power only from the AUX12V line.)
Overclocking the i3-2100's GMA HD 2000 graphics with the GPU Boost feature gave it a very nice boost in performance, though it wasn't enough to catch up to the HD 3000 found on the i5-2500K. The difference was more substantial in 3DMark, but not in standalone benchmarks for the games H.A.W.X. 2 and Lost Planet 2. It should be noted that GPU overclocking is not a special feature it is standard on all H67 boards, the DH67BL included.
Core i5-2500K Test Results
The tests were repeated with a Core i5-2500K, to see how the boards handle a more powerful processor. Often energy efficiency varies between boards depending on how high a load is pressed upon them.
As before, the DH67BL was more frugal when idle and under low load, but under heavy load, the P8H67-M EVO pulled ahead slightly. Enabling EPU saved the Asus board about 10W on load, while GPU Boost added 12W when the GPU was stressed.
Our i5-2500K didn't come close to its 95W rating either, even with the integrated graphics overclocked and stressed to the limit.
BIOS: Performance screen.
GPU Boost had a smaller effect on 3D performance with GMA HD 3000 graphics than HD 2000. Still, being more or less equivalent to an entry level discrete card, we'll take any improvement we can get, even just 2~3 extra frames per second at a low resolution. Unfortunately, using this feature is terribly inefficient, doubling the amount of power the GPU used on load.
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