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.
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  • Magendanz - Thursday, October 12, 2006 - link

    The days of ATI building chipsets for Intel CPUs may be numbered, but I'd be interested in seeing how their current offerings compare to nVidia and Intel.

    Also, how does integrated graphics change the power equation?
  • Questar - Thursday, October 12, 2006 - link


    The power consumption aspect is obviously only one part of the decision to go with a particular chipset

    I would never consider power consumption in choosing a chipset. Two or three watts of pwer consumption isn't even worth spending any time considering imho.
  • falc0ne - Saturday, October 14, 2006 - link

    yeah the same to me, I think for the average user power consumption of a chipset will never be a primary criteria when buying a new MB/platform. For the enterprise/business customers..that's another matter. These mbs here in the test were for the average user though.. I don't see what's with all the fuzz on performance per watt(power consumption) issue lately, at least when the differences are so minor..
    I'm looking forward to a thoroughly investigation on core 2 duo platforms..till then, keep up with the good work are still my best:)
  • smilingcrow - Saturday, October 14, 2006 - link

    For those wanting power consumption data on older chipsets that support C2D, which also includes consumption at idle,">See here
  • hubajube - Thursday, October 12, 2006 - link

    Yep, don't care about power consumption of the chipset. Also, if you're looking at business machines for 10,000+ users, you aren't going the custom build route as the costs to build aren't worth the savings on parts. You're going to go with a canned solution and most of those machines have low power draws anyways (no fans, low wattage power supplies, bare bones components).
  • phusg - Friday, October 13, 2006 - link

    Guys if you don't care about chipset power draw then why bother reading the article (assuming you even did) and why even bother replying to the forum?!? Sheesh.
  • Madellga - Friday, October 13, 2006 - link

    Dells and HPs (canned solutions) also use those chipsets. There are "canned" workstations also, for CAD work for example. They are not barebones, although cheap components could be used.

    Low wattage PSUs do not translate in lower consumption. A 500W rated 80% at 100W consumes the same as a 300W rated 80% at 100W. Most likely the canned PSU will be a cheaper one and consume more.

    Corporate purchases are Global Sourced and they go for the cheapest. No corporate buyer will pay a cent more on every computer to have an Enermax PSU, for example.
  • Madellga - Thursday, October 12, 2006 - link

    Wrong. Can you imagine in a office?
    In a large corporation, or gov. office, that has more than 10000 computers.
    That's a lot of money.

    If you think worldwide, that's a lot of energy. You don't pay this out of your pocket, nevertheless it is money wasted that could go somewhere else.

    In the long run, it's also contributing to Global Warming and other pesky effects.
  • yyrkoon - Friday, October 13, 2006 - link

    Except that a large corporation wouldnt be using this type of otherboard most likely to begin with.

    I have to agree with the OP, in that a few WATTS is no big deal here, however, CPU / GPU power usage can be, and often is.

    I know that one thing is for sure, IF I ever use SLI, its going to be a mid ranged card that uses much less power, as I dont feel that 1 KW is nessisary for hight end PC (which is how much future PCs are going to be needing at this rate).
  • peternelson - Friday, October 13, 2006 - link

    In a COLD country making little use of air conditioning, the excess power consumption from pcs would actually warm up the office and SAVE MONEY AND ENERGY in building heating costs. Also the electricity might be nuclear or green, whereas the building heating is more likely oil or gas (fossil fuels being depleted making green house gases and co2).

    If you live in say Texas or the Sahara desert, it would of course increase your aircon costs.

    Anyway I was interested in how the 590 chipset performed against 570 in power consumption.

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