Dynamic Energy Saver
One unique feature that Gigabyte is introducing with their latest line of motherboards is Dynamic Energy Saver, or DES.  Basically, it gives the Gigabyte motherboard, in conjunction with a piece of Windows software, the ability to lower the amount of power the processor draws while at idle in order to conserve overall power consumption. 

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Here is the DES software in its disabled status.  Hitting the large blue button there turns it on…

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Once enabled, DES shows a lot of interesting information including your power savings meter, power savings total and the number of “gears” that the motherboard is currently utilizing.  The gears refer to the power states that the Gigabyte X48-DQ6 motherboard can utilize and the fewer the software indicates are in use, the less power your system should use.

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The software also keeps track of how much total power you are saving with their software – here you can see I’ve only saved a total of about half a watt of power since using it the first few minutes. 

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To get the most use out of Gigabyte’s DES application, you should have it load with your OS automatically as seen in the taskbar shot above.

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Also on the motherboard you’ll find some DES-enabled LEDs that light up in different arrangements based on the CPU load.  Here in this shot the green LEDs light up when the system is at idle and the more load you place on the system ups the number of yellow lights.  Not a whole lot of function here, but it’s interesting to see the logic involved in the DES software at work.

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I was of course curious to see how effective this software and hardware energy saving technology actually was, so I did some quick testing on it.  There are three levels of DES, each supposedly more tight with power consumption.  You can see that idle power consumption drops from 167.4 watts to 161.9 watts when using the 3rd level of the DES software – not a HUGE difference but it would be noticeable in the long run. 

I also of course wanted to see how performance scaled and used the CineBench 10 benchmark, basically a pure CPU test, at each DES level.  Performance did drop slightly going down each level of the software in conjunction with power consumption decreases.  Some users will find the idea of lower CPU performance for lower power consumption not to be a fair trade off, but I would think running at level 1, with only a 0.6% decrease in CB10 score, would be more than acceptable considering you are getting a 3% drop in consumed power.

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