Asus P5Q Deluxe Reviewccokeman - June 18, 2008
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"Going Green" is a catchy little phrase. It could mean you are going to be testing the luck O' the Irish, or it could mean that you are energy conscious. With energy costs spiraling upwards with no realistic end in sight, energy consumption becomes a real concern when it comes to the computers we use and abuse on a daily basis. To combat this energy abuse, Asus has improved the EPU and brought forth the EPU-6 Engine to help fight this battle with rising energy costs. Can it help reduce the energy consumption of a system? And not just at idle, but while running fully loaded? We shall see.
Labeled as the "Complete System Power Saving Solution", the EPU-6 Engine has been improved and features a new interface, as well as more adjustments to help save on energy costs, as well as CO2 emissions. Left to right, there are five different modes of operation. Auto chooses the best solution at the time, Turbo is the maximum power setting, High-Performance is similar in this regard, Medium power saving is a compromise between the High-Performance and Maximum power saving mode, and of course that leaves only Maximum power saving mode. Each mode is adjustable to provide the best fit for your system and power profile. One thing though - you have to be running the system in a bone-stock configuration to use the EPU-6 Engine.
So just how well does the EPU-6 Engine actually work? To test the Engine out, I let the computer idle in the Max power saving mode, as well as the High-Performance mode and gathered the data from the testing as given by the Engine's monitoring software. Then I switched to load testing to see if the power consumption numbers dropped with the Engine enabled and disabled to see what the difference, if any, there was. In the idle testing, the difference in performance was about 2 watts. 7.05 watts was measured when in High-Performance mode, with a 5.02 watt measurement in the Max power saving mode.
Now, under load will I see any difference? You bet I did. About a 10 watt difference when the processor was under load. This equates to about a 30% power usage decrease under load - a pretty substantial drop.
Just believing what a software program says is not a thorough test of the Engine. Using a Kill-a-watt meter to measure the current coming from the wall is a good check to verify any savings.
Lower Is Better
At idle, the power consumption difference was measured at 8 watts. Under load, the difference is more substantial at 29 watts. So in this test, the EPU does what it is intended to do and reduces power consumption on the system as a whole.