We measured the power consumption with the system resting at the Windows 7 desktop, representing idle values.
The power consumption of our entire test system is measured at the wall while loading only the CPU using Prime95′s Small FFTs setting. The rest of the system’s components were operating in their idle states, hence the increased power consumption values (in comparison to the idle figures) are largely related to the load on the CPU and motherboard power delivery components.
Idle power consumption numbers for the G1.Sniper Z87 are up by a small amount compared to MSI’s and ASRock’s options. When loaded at stock clocks Gigabyte’s board manages to undercut the power usage of ASRock’s Z87 Killer, thanks in large to the G1.Sniper Z87’s lower CPU VCore level of 1.2V when multi-core turbo is enabled.
When overclocked to 4.5GHz the Gigabyte board consumes more power than both competing products from ASRock and MSI. The 6W difference could be related to varied fan speeds between each board or they could be indicative of a (slightly) less efficient power delivery system.
Whatever the reason for the increased numbers, a 6W higher power consumption for an overclocked system at load is unlikely to cause concern for even the most environmentally-friendly of gamers.