STABILITY TESTING POWER DRAW
1.4 for a clock of 5.0 is very very good, so we did test extensively to verify that this overclock is stable. LinX and Prime95 runs of three hours each were a good starting point.
It was during these load tests that we tested the voltage draw to get an idea how much the X79 socket pulls. First, we tested the LinX and Prime95 power draw.
It is very important that overclockers realize that most stability benchmarks draw a tremendous amount of power through the socket, more than any motherboard will draw in normal usage. Even under the most demanding power usage scenarios most users will never see as much power draw as this!
For the sake of experimentation we decided to test the Idle Power Draw of the system with default settings, and also overclocked. We also tested each setting with SpeedStep enabled, and SpeedStep disabled.
Intel SpeedStep allows the clock of the processor to throttle to 1.2Ghz when idle, and raises the GHz back up to the desired setting when under load. This is a tremendous method of saving power and heat. In previous generations of motherboards it was a requirement that SpeedStep be disabled in order to obtain high overclocks. Surprisingly, we experienced no stability problems with SpeedStep and the 5.0 GHz overclock during our testing.
Here we can see that the CPU is drawing a miserly 31 watts when idle with SpeedStep enabled and a 5.0 GHz overclock. This Motherboard seems to handle power very well, from the lower range all the way up to the very high 200+ watt range. We did cool the VRM heatsink with a fan, but used minimal amounts of air to do so. A nice feature of the integrated heatpipe is that directing air to either heatsink facilitates cooling of both.