Part 2: Which motherboard company is more efficient

A place to give your thoughts on our reviews!

Part 2: Which motherboard company is more efficient

Postby Apoptosis » Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:06 am

Part 2: Which motherboard company is more efficient, ASUS or Gigabyte?

We recently compared the power consumption levels of an ASUS P5E3 Premium WiFi-AP@N Edition to the Gigabyte GA-X48-DS5 motherboard. In the article we discovered that the ASUS P5E3 Premium was more efficient, but declared consumers the overall winner as both boards lower power usage. Since the review was posted we have gotten negative feedback about the boards we used for testing and have a new motherboard and new test results!

Image

The ASUS P5E3 Premium/WiFi-AP@n motherboard uses the EPU together with AI Gear 3+ to help attain the best power efficiency and energy savings we have seen to date. Even with no software enabled the ASUS board uses 9% less power at idle and 6.5% less under load, which is awesome. Is ASUS the hands down winner though? It really depends on what you are after. For a computer system that is used often the Gigabyte DES utility is superior as it is fully dynamic and you don't sacrifice performance when you need it.


Article Title: Part 2: Which motherboard company is more efficient, ASUS or Gigabyte?
Article URL: http://legitreviews.com/article/752/1/
User avatar
Apoptosis
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 32821
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2003 8:45 pm
Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Re: Part 2: Which motherboard company is more efficient

Postby Apoptosis » Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:08 am

Just to let people know this is an update from this article that was talked about in this thread - about16504.html

Gigabyte sent us out another board to re-do the numbers and this time around I did all the testing and not Jason, so this article is 100% fresh with a different motherboard being used and testing hardware. We updated this article from the feedback from the first, so I hope that this clears the air up for many of you.
User avatar
Apoptosis
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 32821
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2003 8:45 pm
Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Re: Part 2: Which motherboard company is more efficient

Postby DX » Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:43 am

I wonder if Gigabyte has anything to say about the numbers now.....
And I would be interested in how they hit those numbers.
AMD 960T OC'ed to 4gz
ASRock 970 EXTREME4 AM3+ AMD 970
2 X G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133 (PC3 17000)(16gb)
EVGA SuperClocked 02G-P4-2682-KR GeForce GTX 680 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16
User avatar
DX
Legit Extremist
Legit Extremist
 
Posts: 469
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2007 3:40 pm

Re: Part 2: Which motherboard company is more efficient

Postby Apoptosis » Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:51 am

DX wrote:I wonder if Gigabyte has anything to say about the numbers now.....
And I would be interested in how they hit those numbers.


Gigabyte is happy with the article and here is part of an e-mail they sent me last night:

Nate, I deeply appreciate your time and efforts on reworking this review.

~~~~

I highly value your honest, and personally, I highly respect an article with a neutral analysis on pro and cons when comparing 2 boards or 2 technologies. With comprehensive and neutral analysis, readers get to pick what really fits thair need.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I am hoping readers can know better about the differences of both technologies...


I just took some highlights from the e-mail as it wouldn't be right to post something like that here and it was of good length. I'm happy with the way Gigabyte helped us get the right board in our hands for testing and they are a stand up company that want the readers to know what the differences are between the two products. I think my review shows the pros and cons of each utility along with the power numbers to see how they stack up against each other. Case closed in my books... time to move on to other products to review! I'm sure you guys would rather see more reviews than numerous power consumption articles over and over again.
User avatar
Apoptosis
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 32821
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2003 8:45 pm
Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Re: Part 2: Which motherboard company is more efficient

Postby gwolfman » Fri Jul 25, 2008 9:05 am

Thank you Apoptosis and Gigabyte as well for the update. But my post from the first thread should still be taken into account:

Let me play the advocate here :snakeman: (though I think saving energy is important too).

So, taking into account that the biggest difference in power at idle is less than 20 watts (from both boards, but I'll be generous) from turbo (o/c mode) to max power savings, let's do some calculations.

Assuming you want to keep your PC on 24/7 (of which most of the time it's idling):

20 Watt Hours * 24hrs/day = 480 W*h a day

480 W*h/day * 30 days/month = 14,400 W*h = 14.4kWh

14.4kWh/month * 11.4 cents/kWh (in San Joaquin valley in California) = 164.16 cents/month = $1.64 month in total money saved

I don't know about you, but I wouldn't make any purchasing decisions based on "energy savings". That's only a saving comparable to (6) 100 watt light bulbs on for one day during the whole month. Not a whole lot, but I guess it's a step in the right direction.

But if it's on every hour of the day for a whole year, I guess it adds up to ~$20 USD. Enough for you and a friend/spouse to grab some fast food and have enough for an ice cream. :p But in reality, it was only 16 watt difference, or 80%, which would be only ~$16. :-k
gwolfman
Legit Extremist
Legit Extremist
 
Posts: 659
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2008 10:57 am
Location: USA

Re: Part 2: Which motherboard company is more efficient

Postby Apoptosis » Fri Jul 25, 2008 9:18 am

yup we are talking about very minor power savings in the big picture.
User avatar
Apoptosis
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 32821
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2003 8:45 pm
Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Re: Part 2: Which motherboard company is more efficient

Postby gwolfman » Fri Jul 25, 2008 9:46 am

Simply given that Gigabyte is trying and implementing the technology (hopefully without charging more than a few dollars in the final product) is a step in the right direction and something only a few manufacturers (only asus and gigabyte?) are doing, which is nice.
gwolfman
Legit Extremist
Legit Extremist
 
Posts: 659
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2008 10:57 am
Location: USA

Re: Part 2: Which motherboard company is more efficient

Postby martini161 » Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:21 am

even though its not much power savings i think if this was implemented in more mainstream motherboards that dont use that much power in the first place it could save alot more. the reason im thinking this is because i know a lot of people that own C2D or even C2Q computers that use them only for things that a p3 could do with out breaking a sweat.
User avatar
martini161
Mr Awesome
Mr Awesome
 
Posts: 3185
Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2007 8:27 pm
Location: Cherry Hill, New Jersey

Re: Part 2: Which motherboard company is more efficient

Postby gwolfman » Fri Jul 25, 2008 2:23 pm

martini161 wrote:even though its not much power savings i think if this was implemented in more mainstream motherboards that dont use that much power in the first place it could save alot more. the reason im thinking this is because i know a lot of people that own C2D or even C2Q computers that use them only for things that a p3 could do with out breaking a sweat.

so true
gwolfman
Legit Extremist
Legit Extremist
 
Posts: 659
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2008 10:57 am
Location: USA

Re: Part 2: Which motherboard company is more efficient

Postby Cannyone » Sat Jul 26, 2008 1:46 pm

I have a slightly different "take" on this topic. Intel has been pushing it's partners to be more "energy efficient", which obstensively is a good thing. But last year I bought an Asus P5E (plain jane X38 chipset board) when another Asus board (a P5B-Plus) encountered a problem with the BIOS. Everything seem to work fine at first. Then I started getting BSODs and other strange errors. I finally traced the issue to memory problems and ran some tests. First off, the memory wasn't running at the speed specified in the BIOS. And since I was getting massive amounts of errors, I replaced the memory. When I got the new memory I ran the same tests and discovered the same issue with the memory's speed. My best guess was that this is a "feature" of the chipset, where until the system gets Windows running it does not run some of the components at "full speed".

It wasn't until a few months later that I discovered the full extent of these new "efficiency" measures. I took the P5E and the new Corsair XMS2 memory to a friend who does "failure analysis" for a living. He determined that the P5E was under-volting the memory. Specifically the default value is set at 1.8v, and the board was only supplying 1.74v. The original pair of modules were spec'd to run at 1.9v. But this board was consistently running all memory in that 1.74v - 1.82v, even when higher values where set up in BIOS. Now the real question is: is this something Asus is responsible for? Your article suggests to me that they are primarily responsible.

Now there isn't anything I can do about this situation. Except avoid purchasing Asus products, and advising people who really insist on purchasing the same to be careful of the memory they select to use in those boards. Specifically they need to be careful in what they expect to work. For example; I now have some OCZ memory that is running at 1000MHz, with 2.1v, it will run with 1.8v but only at 800MHz (I'm not using that P5E for my main gaming rig now. I switched to an MSI P7N Diamond {Nvidia 780i chipset} which runs this memory perfectly!). When selecting memory they should pay special attention to only using memory that Asus certifies to run with their board. Or risk premature failure of your memory, if you are running the memory at other than default values. Gigabyte doesn't seem to have these issues and I recommend their products highly.
Intel Core i7 930 @ 3.2GHz | Asus Rampage III Formula | 12GB Patriot DDR3-1600 | 2ea EVGA GTX660Ti's in SLI... (other stuff too <- 500 char limit!)
User avatar
Cannyone
Legit Fanatic
Legit Fanatic
 
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2006 7:15 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM

Re: Part 2: Which motherboard company is more efficient

Postby Apoptosis » Sun Jul 27, 2008 9:09 am

Cannyone wrote:I have a slightly different "take" on this topic. Intel has been pushing it's partners to be more "energy efficient", which obstensively is a good thing. But last year I bought an Asus P5E (plain jane X38 chipset board) when another Asus board (a P5B-Plus) encountered a problem with the BIOS. Everything seem to work fine at first. Then I started getting BSODs and other strange errors. I finally traced the issue to memory problems and ran some tests. First off, the memory wasn't running at the speed specified in the BIOS. And since I was getting massive amounts of errors, I replaced the memory. When I got the new memory I ran the same tests and discovered the same issue with the memory's speed. My best guess was that this is a "feature" of the chipset, where until the system gets Windows running it does not run some of the components at "full speed".

It wasn't until a few months later that I discovered the full extent of these new "efficiency" measures. I took the P5E and the new Corsair XMS2 memory to a friend who does "failure analysis" for a living. He determined that the P5E was under-volting the memory. Specifically the default value is set at 1.8v, and the board was only supplying 1.74v. The original pair of modules were spec'd to run at 1.9v. But this board was consistently running all memory in that 1.74v - 1.82v, even when higher values where set up in BIOS. Now the real question is: is this something Asus is responsible for? Your article suggests to me that they are primarily responsible.

Now there isn't anything I can do about this situation. Except avoid purchasing Asus products, and advising people who really insist on purchasing the same to be careful of the memory they select to use in those boards. Specifically they need to be careful in what they expect to work. For example; I now have some OCZ memory that is running at 1000MHz, with 2.1v, it will run with 1.8v but only at 800MHz (I'm not using that P5E for my main gaming rig now. I switched to an MSI P7N Diamond {Nvidia 780i chipset} which runs this memory perfectly!). When selecting memory they should pay special attention to only using memory that Asus certifies to run with their board. Or risk premature failure of your memory, if you are running the memory at other than default values. Gigabyte doesn't seem to have these issues and I recommend their products highly.


Cannyone,

I'm not calling you a liar or anything like that, but that is not the case with this motherboard. I usually don't show voltage checks in the article, but I do actually use a digital volt meter to check the actual voltages on the board on all the motherboards I review. The ASUS P5E3 Premium does not undervolt the memory at all, it actually over volts it a bit. I re-built the test system used for this article and ran some VDIMM voltage tests just for you and got my girlfriend to take a picture of me doing one of the checks so you can see that I'm not bull shitting you.

asus_voltage.jpg
asus_voltage.jpg (80.86 KiB) Viewed 1438 times


Here is what 1.90 VDIMM set in the BIOS is really feeding the modules. I used my DMM to get the reading on the actual power feed pin in the DIMM slot itself, which is the last component on the board before the power is put to the memory module. I like this reading over all others.

AUTO: 1.632V (The BIOS starts at 1.50V and goes up, so auto is set to 1.6V)
1.8V = 1.830V
1.9V = 1.928V

In general ASUS seems to be over on the voltages and not under like you suggest. On average the memory is getting ~0.030V more than what you set in the BIOS no matter the setting. This of course is a different board than what you had, but I wouldn't say to avoid purchasing ASUS products. It is likely the board you personally had could have been defective, which then in turn caused the failure you saw. Either way you look at it, you got the bad end of the deal though ;(
User avatar
Apoptosis
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 32821
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2003 8:45 pm
Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Re: Part 2: Which motherboard company is more efficient

Postby DMB2000uk » Sun Jul 27, 2008 3:45 pm

Glad you found your first set of results to be all good and backed up, hopefully the moaners will think twice next time before they question the testing.

Good review.

Dan
Image (<- Clickable)
User avatar
DMB2000uk
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7067
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 5:36 pm
Location: UK

Re: Part 2: Which motherboard company is more efficient

Postby eva2000 » Tue Jul 29, 2008 1:00 am

excellent review =D>

so at same 3ghz clock speed is 124w vs 123w - not much difference

would be interesting to see

1. manually underclocked at 1.8ghz for both boards with same voltages what the idle and load system power draw would be
2. manufacturer's claims are only usually fully valid at the time or within a time frame of making those claims i.e. ddr3-1600mhz fastest rated memory way back, so would be interesting to find the date Asus/Gigabyte made their respective claims, look up what was latest bios/software versions at time of those claims and flash boards and use the software available at that time to see if the same held true back then :)
User avatar
eva2000
Legit Extremist
Legit Extremist
 
Posts: 270
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 1:12 am
Location: Brisbane, Australia


Return to Legit Reviews Review Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider] and 1 guest