Final Words

The table below summarizes the average power consumption among the three platforms in the four major categories of benchmarks we ran:


General Apps

3D Rendering



NVIDIA nForce 570 SLI





Intel P965





Intel 975X






Interestingly enough, the general application tests show the largest gap in power consumption between the chipsets.  But all four categories agree that Intel's P965 chipset is your best bet when it comes to power consumption and as we've shown here, performance as well. 

The power consumption aspect is obviously only one part of the decision to go with a particular chipset, and in the case of the nForce 570 SLI - support for NVIDIA's SLI technology is a major reason to opt for this chipset.  If, however, you are like the majority of the population and don't plan on taking advantage of any multi-GPU solutions then support for SLI isn't too important.  If your goal is simply good performance and lower power consumption, then the P965 brings you one step closer to attaining that goal.

For those interested in even lower power consumption there are two more options available: Merom Desktop solutions and AMD's Energy Efficient line of CPUs.  We'll be looking at those next...

Gaming Performance & Power Usage with F.E.A.R.
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • wwswimming - Thursday, October 12, 2006 - link

    3 of the best Motherboards you can get, all i think with the extra-stable 8 phase power - and you have 'em all in one line-up.

    Can i work at Anandtech ? :-)
  • 8steve8 - Thursday, October 12, 2006 - link

    (even when disabled these parts likely take some power)
  • 8steve8 - Thursday, October 12, 2006 - link

    im curious, what about g965 with onboard video...

    also , i think u should have used more minimalistic boards... otherwise the power could be drained on the additional features like wifi or a 2nd nic card or whathaveyou
  • ATWindsor - Thursday, October 12, 2006 - link

    It's interesting to see the diffrent between chipsets. The chipsets seems to have started t use quite a bit of power. Hopefully you will be able to do more detailed test some time in the futire, load on diffrent rails and so on.
  • Lonyo - Thursday, October 12, 2006 - link

    The HL2 640x480 numbers for the 975 look really wrong (198 fps vs ~230 for the other 2 chipsets).
  • Anonymous Freak - Thursday, October 12, 2006 - link

    You'd need to test the power consumption of multiple brands of motherboard using the same chipset. This could just be an Asus thing. (After all, the Intel chipset boards are "Deluxe" while the nVidia chipset board isn't. Maybe they actually spent engineering efford to cut down on power draw on the Deluxe boards.)

    Also, for a review interested in power consumption, I'd like to see comparisons not just with a dedicated video card, but also with the integrated video of appropriate chipsets. For example, I play almost no games, and actually WOULD like to save as much energy as possible. What motherboard/CPU/GPU combo will give me the best media encoding performance bang per watt? (A Via nano ITX board probably would win in performance per watt, but with unacceptably low performance.)
  • edwardhchan - Thursday, October 12, 2006 - link

    All this tells me is that Asus's P965 mobo uses less than their 975X and 570 SLI mobos. It'd be better to compare across brands (using the same chipsets available from each brand.) Then you verify your result.
  • atenza - Thursday, October 12, 2006 - link

    Am I the only one interested in idle consumption of those systems?
  • mongo lloyd - Friday, October 13, 2006 - link

    Me too. Most computers, especially the ones that are running 24/7 (which is more and more prevalent today), are idle for a guesstimate of about 90% of the time. Really.

    I was disappointed in this article as well, because they really should've taken that into regard (and made it the most important thing as well).
  • SocrPlyr - Thursday, October 12, 2006 - link

    No, I am interested as well. My computer is kept in a relatively enclosed space. My P4 used to be completely quiet before this, and now is loud b/c the fans are spinning a lot faster. Of course I am not looking to keep the P4, but I am planning on upgrading soon. This basically let me know what I wanted to know and it becomes a no brainer in chipset choice for my application. Here I can get the less expensive chipset and still save on power. I am carefully choosing all of my components for my next build. I want as much integrated as possible and do things like have only 1 optical drive and go down from 3 HDD to 2 etc. (And of course get a cpu that uses less power.) Now for the person who said that a few watt doesn't mean anything, if you get a few watts out of 5 coponents that is a significant power savings for the system as a whole.


Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now