Gigabyte GA-Z87N-WIFI Haswell Mini-ITX Motherboard

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TEST RESULTS

Power Consumption

For an Intel-based motherboard, the Z87N-WIFI uses very little power under light load. It was more frugal than previously tested Sandy and Ivy Bridge combinations, and also edged out the Intel DZ87KL-75K, an enthusiast ATX Haswell board, in every test.

When working on more demanding tasks, the energy efficiency takes a nosedive. It pulled an additional 6W when video encoding with TMPGEnc compared to the DZ87KL-75K, and running Prime95, the difference ballooned to 24W for a 22% increase. It seems that as the stress placed on the CPU increases, the power efficiency decreases. This is most likely due to the Z87N-WIFI's relatively simple 4-phase power design.

Unfortunately it's 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/EPS12V connector depends on how board power regulation has been implemented. The Z87N-WIFI relies more on the +12V line than other models due to its basic VR system.

Cooling

To test the board's cooling, the CPU was stressed for ~15 minutes with Prime95. Temperatures of the boards' chipset heatsinks were recorded using a spot thermometer. The highest temperatures were taken for comparison.

With a undersized chipset heatsink, the surface temperature of the PCH cooler peaked at 38°C above ambient on full CPU load, significantly warmer than the well-cooled DZ87KL-75K, Interestingly, the Sandy Bridge +/ H77N-WIFI combination ran hotter still despite using the same cooler. VRM cooling is nonexistent so we have no comparison to make there, but some of the bare MOSFETs were running at just under 100°C (about 80°C above ambient). Despite this apparent lack of cooling, we did not encounter any stability issues during testing.



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