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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  • jonp - Saturday, October 14, 2006 - link

    Whoops. Intuitive logic doesn't always pay off. See the following chart which gives energy costs/BTU for 2006:">DOE Energy Costs . You can see that energy cost from electricity is almost double that of natural gas. You may help heat the building, but it will cost you more. And remember that a lot of electricity comes from coal fired power plants (CO2 producing) and every wire consumes it's own share of energy released as useless heat. Ok probably too much off the chipset topic, sorry.
  • DigitalFreak - Thursday, October 12, 2006 - link

    Quick, call Al Gore!

    Thanks for the good laugh.
  • Lonyo - Thursday, October 12, 2006 - link

    10w is not all that inconsiderable, look at it over multiple components and it becomes significant.
    10w just for the mobo is, IMO, quite a chunk.
  • smn198 - Friday, October 13, 2006 - link

    Could you measure the power draw of just the chipset by increasing the voltage of the northbridge by 0.2V and then re-running the tests? Take the difference between +0.2V and normal and then you would have isolated the power draw for the chipset and can work out the power draw for the chipset alone.

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