Green Computing With Gigabyte's EP35-DS4
Back in December we looked at the Gigabyte GA-P35-DS4 motherboard and compared it against the ASUS P5K-E WiFi, which was also backed by Intel's P35 Express Chipset. In that review, the Gigabyte motherboard had presented a slight lead when it came to the Linux desktop performance, but both motherboards received our recommendations. Since then, Gigabyte has made a few changes to their latest motherboards in order to provide heightened power efficiency. The newest Gigabyte motherboards support DES, or Dynamic Energy Saver, technology. In this review we are taking a brief look at Gigabyte's efforts into green computing with their Dynamic Energy Saver technology on the GA-EP35-DS4 motherboard.
The Gigabyte EP35-DS4 supports up to Intel Core 2 Quad processors built on a 45nm manufacturing process, DDR2-1600MHz when in an overclocked state (DDR2-1333MHz is otherwise its normal limit), IEEE-1394a Firewire, Serial ATA 2.0 RAID support, and the rest of the features found on the Intel P35 Chipset and ICH9R Southbridge. In addition to the DES (Dynamic Energy Saver) support, this motherboard is also an Ultra Durable 2 motherboard and features Gigabyte's exclusive Silent-Pipe cooling solution for the northbridge, southbridge, and MOSFETs. Gigabyte's GA-EP35-DS4 motherboard has all of the same features as what can be found on the GA-P35-DS4; as both motherboards are virtually identical, so for the complete details check out our GA-P35-DS4 review.
For all of the details on Dynamic Energy Saver technology, below are slides that were provided to us by Gigabyte last month.
The key points of Dynamic Energy Saver is that it allows Gigabyte motherboards to save up to 70% in power savings and up to 20% in improved power efficiency. These power improvements are attributed to dynamic switching of power phases depending upon the CPU workload for regulating the power consumption. If the system is idling or not experiencing any processing strain, DES will turn off some of the power phases, but once more processing power is needed, these phases will be re-enabled. Gigabyte also produces software to manipulate the power saving options and monitoring the power consumption. Unfortunately, this software is closed-source and is only available for Microsoft Windows users. However, this is a hybrid software-hardware solution so while Linux users aren't able to use this software, DES is still functioning. For what Gigabyte claims is "unmatched energy efficiency", you will need to be using a Gigabyte DES motherboard with an Intel 45nm processor.