MSI Big Bang XPower Review: X58, Military Style

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Power Consumption

Total System Power Consumption
Tested at the Outlet

One of the Big Bang XPower's most attractive (theoretical) features is its reduced power consumption and lower temperatures. We tested the Big Bang against the EVGA X58 Classified in stock and overclocked configurations.

Our first test was conducted with all power saving features turned on and High Vdroop—meaning that the CPU's voltage is allowed to vary according to Intel's specifications. With these settings enabled, the Big Bang XPower drew 16W less power at idle and 26W less under load.

26W isn't a lot—we're talking about maybe three cents of power a day—but if you leave your computer on 24/7, you can at least feel comfortable that you're a little greener about it. Or you could just turn it off. Even if the gap isn't all that large, we're impressed to see it--MSI's "military grade" design is more than marketing fluff.

So what happens when we overclock?

 


With all power-saving features off and Vdroop set low, the gap between the two motherboards all but vanishes. This isn't all that surprising, however—when we start setting voltages and clockspeeds to predetermined levels we're also limiting the motherboard's ability to adjust these settings on the fly.

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