Overall Power Consumption: Idle and Loaded
AMD has made their position on power consumption clear, with much attention being directed to performance per watt. With that said, it seemed appropriate to run a couple of tests to see the wattage draw of each system, as measured at the outlet. In each test, Cool'n'Quiet was enabled and the test beds were left to idle for 30 minutes before their wattage was recorded. Next, we ran two iterations of Prime95's torture test set for maximum power consumption and heat to pin the CPU to 100% on both cores. Again, each system was left in that state for a full 30 minutes before recording the wattage draw.
Running at full load, the MSI K9AGM2 consumed 10 less watts compared to the nForce 430/6150 series board and 2 watts below the 430/6100. When running idle, the 690G weighed in 6 watts less than the 430/6150 and 8 watts less than the 430/6100. This variance may seem small to some, but the best way to look at this is in percentages. When running idle, the 690G consumed close to 8% less power than the 430/6150 and 11% less than the 430/6100 based board. At full load the power consumption difference is closer to 7% less than that of the nForce 430/6150 based board, where the reduction was closer to 1.5% compared to the 430/6100. These aren't exactly make or break differentials obviously but notable none-the-less.