Intel DZ77GA-70K Z77 Motherboard: Waiting for Ivy Bridge

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TEST RESULTS

Power Consumption

During light load activities (idle and playing H.264 video), the DZ77GA-70K was noticeably energy inefficient compared to its H67 compatriots; there was a difference of up to 6W. There isn't enough information to hypothesize the reason for the discrepancy, whether the Z77 chipset inherently uses more power, the DZ77GA-70K's extensive feature-set saps more juice, or if it's simply a matter of differences in voltage regulation between the various motherboard models. We'll need a bigger sample of Z77 boards to make any generalizations.

Adding P67 boards paired with a Radeon HD 5450 into the mix gave us more favorable results with the DZ77GA-70K in the middle of the pack. Integrated graphics are undoubtedly more efficient.

Note: Our initial testing had the DZ77GA-70K exhibiting unusually high load power consumption. After investigating the issue we found that the UEFI was using a 39x multiplier on load across the board regardless of how many cores were active. We re-tested the board with standard Core i5-2500K Turbo Boost multipliers (34~37x) and updated the charts accordingly.

On CPU load, the DZ77GA-70K's power consumption is moderate, using a bit less than some P67/H67 models and a bit more than others.

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 board power regulation has been implemented. In this board, Intel has gone with an 8 power phase design which pulls quite a bit of juice from the 8-pin connector, between 11% and 22% more on load compared to most of H67/P67 boards.

Cooling

To test the board's cooling, we stressed the CPU for ~15 minutes with Prime95/CPU Burn. Temperatures of the boards' chipset and VRM heatsinks (if applicable) were recorded using a spot thermometer. The highest temperatures were taken for comparison.

Despite the high system power draw, the DZ77GA-70K's heatsink temperatures were amongst the lowest we've recorded, just 20°C and 25°C above ambient for the VRM and PCH/chipset heatsinks respectively.



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