Total System Power Consumption
Before we bring this article to a close, we'd like to cover a few final data points. Throughout all of our benchmarking and testing, we monitored how much power our test systems were consuming using a power meter. Our goal was to give you all an idea as to how much power each configuration used while idling and under a heavy workload. Please keep in mind that we were testing total system power consumption at the outlet here, not just the power being drawn by the motherboards alone.
The GeForce 9300 proved to be quite power friendly in our testing. While idling, the Intel G45 and GeForce 9300-based motherboards all consumed similar amounts of power, with the G45 board falling in between the Asus and Zotac boards (the Zotac board's active chipset cooler accounts for the slight increase over the G45 at idle). Under load though, the GeForce 9300s both consumed less power than the G45--although the difference was only a few watts. It is worth noting, however, that the GeForce 9300 offers lower power consumption with significantly increased GPU performance, so in terms of efficiency there is really no match here; NVIDIA wins.