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

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The Intel DP67BG and Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD4 were pitted against each other with a Core i5-2500K processor at stock settings, with Gigabyte's DES energy saving feature enabled, and overclocked. As P67 requires a discrete graphics card, we used an AMD Radeon HD 5450, which has a fairly low power draw.

We normally do not include power consumption figures for boards when they are turned off or in S3 sleep as these figures are usually not worth mentioning (typically 1W and 2W respectively measured from the wall). However, both boards were unusual power hungry in this regard. Our P67A-UD4 test system pulled 3W AC when off and 3~4W when asleep. The DP67BG used only 1W when off but 4W during sleep.

Core i5-2500K

Like many other Intel boards, the DP67BG has excellent energy efficiency, using about 4W less on average compared to the P67A-UD4. Gigabyte's DES feature made a minor adjustment to CPU voltage resulting in very little difference.

The P67 chipset seems to use more power than H67 as well. Compared to the DH67BL, the DP67BG used approximately 5W more when idle and playing video, though the tables turned on load with the P67 board posting a 3W advantage.

Unfortunately it is difficult to ascertain exactly how much of the energy draw is generated by the processor alone, as the amount of power pulled from the AUX12V connector depends on how power regulation has been implemented by the manufacturer. The DH67BL, which has the more simplistic power phase design seems to draw most if not all of its power from AUX12V (including inefficiencies generated by the VRMs), while the Intel/Gigabyte P67 boards seem to take some from ATX12V, probably for the integrated memory controller just as most Nehalem boards do.

Overclocked Core i5-2500K

When overclocked by 700 MHz and overvolted by 0.12V, the DP67BG retained its superior energy efficiency, but only by a hair at full load. From this data one could assume that as the load increases, the P67A-UD4's power consumption will draw even or beat the DP67BG at some point.

When the speed and heat was cranked up, the DP67BG pulled more power from the AUX12V line than the P67A-UD4; the opposite was true at stock settings.

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