DFI LanParty JR 790GX-M3H5 mATX Motherboard

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TEST RESULTS

Our test system features a Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition and a Xigmatek HDT CPU cooler with its fan connected to a variable DC fan controller so the fan's power draw does not come into play. The rest of the system consists of two sticks of Corsair Dominator DDR3 memory running at 1333MHz (9-9-9-24) in dual channel, an Asus Blu-ray drive, a 5400RPM notebook hard drive and an OEM Seasonic 400W power supply. 128MB of system memory was assigned to the IGP in addition to the included SidePort memory.

Power Consumption

Test Results
Test State
Asus
M4A78T-E
DFI LP JR 790GX-M3H5
Idle
54W
54W
Rush Hour
(H.264)
~57W
~61W
Coral Reef
(WMV-HD)
~64W
~66W
Drag Race
(VC-1)
~71W
~74W
Disturbia
(Blu-ray H.264)
~70W
~64W
CPU Load
117W
127W
CPU + GPU
Load
135W
149W

Compared to the M4A78T-E, an Asus ATX motherboard using the same chipset 790GX chipset, the 790GX-M3H5 uses the same amount of power when idle, and marginally more (2~4W) during video playback. When the CPU and/or IGP were put on full load though, the DFI board used 10-14W more power.

Cooling

Lower cost boards ship with simple heatsinks on the Northbridge and Southbridge while those targeted at enthusiasts typically have large heatpipe coolers and heatsinks on the voltage regulation modules near the CPU socket. A well-cooled motherboard can deliver better power efficiency and stability.

Heatsink Temperatures
Measuring Point
DFI LP JR 790GX-M3H5
Asus
M4A78T-E
SB Heatsink
60°C
50°C
NB Heatsink
86°C
85°C
VRMs
80°C
63°C
Measured with a spot thermometer (hottest point) after 10 minutes of full CPU + GPU load. CPU fan reduced to 8V.

The 790GX-M3H5 ran hotter across the board than the Asus M4A78T-E. While the Northbridge heatsink measured only 1°C higher than the M4A78T-E, the Southbridge cooler was 10°C higher and the VRM heatsink ran 17°C hotter. The Northbridge and VRM heatsink temperatures were close due to the heatpipe distributing the heat between them. Combined, they ran hotter than on the Asus, due probably to the VRM heatsink's tightly spaced fins and the Northbridge heatsink's small size. Typically as temperature increases, electrical components become less efficient — this could account for the 790GX-M3H5's higher power consumption. (Editor's Note: Other factors such as case airflow in the system can have significant effects on all of these temperatures.)



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