ASUS Maximus VI Impact: Enthusiast Mini-ITX Motherboard

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TEST RESULTS

Power Consumption

Boards with advanced voltage regulation can sometimes give up some efficiency at lower levels. The Maximus VI Impact keeps it fairly tight overall. It used a couple more watts at idle compared to other Haswell models. Power consumption during video playback was comparable.

By default the board's UEFI BIOS set Turbo Boost to push the multiplier to 39x for a clock speed of 3.9 GHz regardless of how many cores were in use, producing very high power consumption numbers. To make things fair, we dialed it back with similar settings we've used previously with the i7-4770K (39x/38x/37x/36x for 1/2/3/4 core operation).

The Maximus VI Impact's power usage with more demanding tasks was roughly on par with the Intel DZ87KL-75K, an ATX board which shipped with our original Haswell review kit. Both the TMPGEnc and CPU load test use all available cores but inexplicably low consumption was noted during video encoding. It fared more favorably against the Gigabyte GA-Z87N-WIFI, a more affordable mini-ITX LGA1150 board.

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. Like the Z87N-WIFI, the Maximus VI Impact relies heavily on the +12V line.

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.

While the chipset heatsink doesn't have much surface area, the temperature was lukewarm, peaking at just 22°C above ambient on full CPU load. On the other hand, the VRM heatsink got toasty, measuring 32°C higher than the DZ87KL-75K, though it does appear that the Maximus VI Impact has more circuitry to cool and the orientation of its heatspreader makes it more difficult to dissipate heat in our horizontal open testbed.



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