When we test power consumption, we consider it as a whole platform so whether the CPU includes a memory controller or it's separate on the northbridge doesn't make a difference to what we measure at the wall and how much electricity is paid for. The Core i7s are built on a 45nm process which should be low power, and with all the Power Saving gizmos from the CPU, memory and QPI etc turned up to eleven we set about seeing whether this meaty platform could go to sleep and stay quiet.
While it's difficult to compare the motherboards in an apples to apples scenario, none of the motherboards used feature specific power regulation for the CPU phases and all of them are performance parts from DFI, Intel and Asus.
Hmm well, the idle power consumption is only a 50W (or 50 percent) increase - but this should be in line with Q6600's overclocked and overvolted. Load values are, hmm, "high", but remember that we're overvolting and overclocking the four cores, the uncore and the memory quite a way. That increment means this CPU subsystem has a 179W increase in power output - so predominantly you'll need a cooling solution to tame this. We've found both the Noctua NH-U12P and Thermalright Ultra 120 eXtreme 1366-RT still handle it very well indeed - is a £35 CPU cooler investment worth the huge saving in CPU cost? Absolutely.
Idle Power Consumption
Power at wall socket. BIOS Defaults, all onboard hardware enabled. Windows Desktop Idle