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 system was 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 nForce 680i SLI was not known as a particularly power firendly chipset. And since the 780i SLI is essentially the same setup as a 680i SLI, plus a third chip that adds PCI Express 2.0 support, it comes as no surprise that the 780i SLI consumes more power while idling and under load than the 680i and X38. The difference is only about 7 watts, however.