Stress Testing and Power Consumption
Stress Test — Putting It All Together

Another test we added to the motherboard suite this time around was the stress test.  In this we take all the on-board components and make them all work together just to see if they play nicely. 

In our case here this meant running WMP10 on an HD video, having PCMark05 run some hard drive tests, running HDTach on the external USB hard drive, playing the large WAV file and running the network bandwidth test, all at the same time.  The tests were loops for an hour and we listened for sound ‘jump’ or video stutters or anything of the likes.

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While we don’t have any number results to report here, neither motherboard had any problems with the test with the exception of the PCI-based Gigabit Ethernet on the A8R32-MVP that refused to finish our networking tests. 

Power Consumption

In many cases, looking at power consumption of motherboards and chipsets can seem a little over dramatic.  After all, when your GPU eats up a couple hundred watts on its own, whats a few more for a chipset?  Regardless, we felt the need to use our power meter to test for power consumption at the wall. 

Idle power was taken at the Windows desktop while load results were taken from a dual-threaded CineBench run.

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You can see that the ATI XPress 3200 chipset uses much less power at both idle and load.  The results are actually differing by more than I thought they would, though we never got any specs on what the power usages of the NF4 chipset might be from NVIDIA.

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