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Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS4 - Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS4
‘So what about the Dynamic Energy Saver software?' I hear you cry.
Gigabyte calls the utility ‘Dynamic Energy Saver v1.0 Software power by intersil' which suggests it has been bought in from intersil
The interface for the software is fairly typical of the sort of overclocking software that comes with many motherboards. The difference here is that the software is used to save power without sacrificing performance. It may not be clear from the screen grabs but the software shows the rotating crankshaft from an eight cylinder engine which revs up as performance increases. Gigabyte mirrors this display with a dozen LEDs on the board that flash dynamically to represent the system load. In the main I hate unnecessary on-board LEDs but this display is rather soothing and has a mesmerising quality.
The software drops power consumption from 105W to 100W in Windows and from 185W to 175W when the system is loaded in 3DMark06. That's a saving of 5W with the system under minimal load rising to 10W under heavy load. Performance is unaffected, although the results in 3DMark06 and PCMark05 may suggest otherwise as there is a margin of error of some two percent.
There's a third option where you can enable CPU throttling which cuts power consumption even further to 95W in Windows and 140W under load however performance takes a massive dive so this option seems somewhat pointless as you might just as well buy a cheaper, slower processor in the first place.
Gigabyte's power saving software is a handy bonus but the star of the show is the GA-P35-DS4 motherboard which is the best P35 model that we've seen to date.