Sandy Bridge, Part 3: Gigabyte P67A-UD4 & Intel DP67BG P67 Motherboards

CPUs|Motherboards
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TEST METHODOLOGY

Test Setup:


Intel DP67BG testbed device listing.


Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD4 testbed device listing.


Measurement and Analysis Tools

Video Test Clip


1080p | 24fps | ~22mbps

H.264: Crash is a 1080p x264 clip encoded from the Blu-ray version of an science fiction film. It features the aftermath of a helicopter crash. It has an unusually high bitrate for video of this type.


Estimating DC Power

The following power efficiency figures were obtained for the Seasonic SS-400ET used in our test system:

Seasonic SS-400ET Test Results
DC Output (W)
21.2
41.6
60.2
81.9
104.7
124.1
145.2
AC Input (W)
32.0
58.0
78.0
102.0
128.0
150.0
175.0
Efficiency
66.3%
71.7%
77.1%
80.3%
81.8%
82.8%
83.0%

This data is enough to give us a very good estimate of DC demand in our test system. We extrapolate the DC power output from the measured AC power input based on this data. We won't go through the math; it's easy enough to figure out for yourself if you really want to.

Testing Procedures

If available, the latest motherboard BIOS is installed prior to testing. Certain services/features like Indexing, Superfetch, System Restore, and Windows Defender are disabled to prevent them from causing spikes in CPU/HDD usage. We also make note if energy saving features like Cool'n'Quiet/SpeedStep or S3 suspend-to-RAM do not function properly.

Our main test procedure is designed to determine the overall system power consumption at various states (measured using a Seasonic Power Angel). To stress CPUs we use either Prime95 (large FFTs setting) or CPUBurn depending on which produces higher system power consumption. To stress the IGP, we use FurMark, an OpenGL benchmarking and stability testing utility. Power consumption during playback of high definition video is also recorded.

Operating Voltage

Comparable motherboards, even from the same chipset, often apply different operating voltages to the CPU which can have a big effect on overall power consumption.

Average Core i5-2500K CPU Voltage
Motherboard
Idle
Load
Intel DH67BL
0.888V
1.200V
Asus P8H67-M EVO
0.888V
1.192V
Intel DP67BG
0.968V
1.200V
Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD4
0.792V
1.212V
Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD4 (DES Level 1)
0.756V
1.212V
Note: voltages for P67A-UD4 taken with EasyTune, others with CPU-Z.

The DP67BG has a much higher reported idle voltage and a slightly lower load voltage than the P67A-UD4. We also tested the P67A-UD4 with its DES energy saving feature on which does make a slight adjustment to the core voltage. We only tested the first level though as the other two make adjustments to the clock speed as well, skewing the results unfairly.

As a caveat we will note that CPU-Z would not report an accurate CPU voltage with the P67A-UD4, so we used Gigabyte's EasyTune utility instead. As a result these figures may not be directly comparable.



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