Gigabyte GA-MA74GM-S2: AMD 690G, Take 2

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TEST RESULTS

Our test system is fairly basic, featuring an OEM 80Plus power supply, notebook hard drive and Blu-ray drive. The CPU is a X2 4850e, a mid-level dual core 45W processor. It is cooled by a stock AMD heatpipe cooler with PWM fan connected to a variable DC fan controller (so the fan's power draw does not come into play).

Test Results: Gigabyte GA-MA74GM-S2
Test State
X2 4850e @ 2.5Ghz, C&Q
X2 4850e @ 1.5Ghz/1.1V
Mean CPU Use
Peak CPU Use
System Power
Mean CPU Use
Peak CPU Use
System Power
Off
N/A
2W
N/A
2W
Sleep (S3)
N/A
2W
N/A
2W
Idle
1%
2%
31W
1%
2%
33W
Rush Hour
42%
64%
58W
62%
97%
46W
Coral Reef
37%
46%
58W
53%
63%
46W
Flight Sim.
64%
77%
63W
86%
96%
50W
Drag Race
69%
80%
66W
87%
95%
51W
CPUBurn
100%
92W
100%
56W
CPUBurn + ATITool
100%
97W
100%
61W

At stock CPU speed, the power consumption figures, especially at the low-end were truly impressive. Idling at a 31W is a new record for a mATX board in our lab. Video playback was good, though H.264 playback required more CPU support than more modern GPUs due to the lack of ATI's UVD — typically it's the easiest clip in our test suite.

With the CPU underclocked to 1.5Ghz, power consumption under load was much better though both of our VC-1 test clips failed to play back properly — the audio stream exhibited clipping when it was played. It seems that 1.5Ghz is not quite enough to get through our test suite. Luckily the vast majority of AMD's dual core processors are 2Ghz or faster.

Loading the GPU with ATITool while CPUBurn was running resulted in a 5W difference at both CPU speeds we tested at.

Test Results: 690G vs. 740G vs. 780G @ 2.5Ghz
Test State
Asus
M2A-VM HDMI
Gigabyte
GA-MA74GM-S2
Asus
M3A78 Pro
Mean CPU Use
System Power
Mean CPU Use
System Power
Mean CPU Use
System Power
Off
N/A
2W
N/A
2W
N/A
2W
Sleep (S3)
N/A
3W
N/A
2W
N/A
3W
Idle
1%
40W
1%
31W
1%
39W
Rush Hour
38%
70W
42%
58W
6%
64W
Coral Reef
33%
68W
37%
58W
42%
65W
Flight Sim.
58%
71W
64%
63W
71%
69W
Drag Race
63%
72W
69%
66W
73%
69W
CPUBurn
100%
89W
100%
92W
100%
82W
CPUBurn + ATITool
100%
92W
100%
97W
100%
94W

Compared to 690G and 780G boards from Asus, the MA74GM-S2's low-load power efficiency is even more pronounced. When idle, it consumes a full 9W less than the M2A-VM and 8W less than the M3A78 Pro. Power consumption during video playback was also noticeably lower. It is not until the CPU is put at full load that the other two boards are able to claim lower power draw.

Test Results: 690G vs. 740G vs. 780G @ 1.5Ghz/1.1V
Test State
Asus
M2A-VM HDMI
Gigabyte
GA-MA74GM-S2
Asus
M3A78 Pro
Mean CPU Use
System Power
Mean CPU Use
System Power
Mean CPU Use
System Power
Off
N/A
2W
N/A
2W
N/A
2W
Sleep (S3)
N/A
3W
N/A
2W
N/A
4W
Idle
1%
43W
1%
33W
1%
34W
Rush Hour
58%
52W
62%
46W
8%
40W
Coral Reef
48%
51W
53%
46W
52%
46W
Flight Sim.
81%
53W
86%
50W
87%
50W
Drag Race
87%
54W
87%
51W
87%
50W
CPUBurn
100%
59W
100%
56W
100%
54W
CPUBurn + ATITool
100%
62W
100%
61W
100%
64W

At 1.5Ghz, the MA74GM-S2 is more power efficient across the board than the M2A-VM, albeit to a lesser degree than at stock settings. The 780G-equipped board, with the UVD feature, had much lower CPU utilization and power consumption during H.264 playback, but otherwise matched the MA74GM-S2 in every test state, almost watt-for-watt. When the CPU clock and voltage are reduced, the playing field is much more level.



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