Performance Test v6.1:
Every test in Performance Test v6.1 was executed at the default speed and overclocked settings, and the most notable thing is a confirmation that the integrated graphics will not help you dominate a LAN party. The memory results are surprisingly good (which makes me question the testing criteria), and the CPU, Disk, and total scores are pretty good, too. For a typical desktop system, or even an HTPC, the ECS GF9300T-A definitely has the capabilities to get the job done.
One of these hard drives has been used in most motherboard reviews at Bigbruin.com lately, so comparing results is fairly easy. Checking out this page or this page from previous reviews shows HD Tune 2.53 results for the same drive running on five different motherboards. What is clear is that the ECS GF9300T-A is no slouch in terms of drive performance. Access time and CPU usage are relatively low, while burst speed and average read speed are about the best.
A Seasonic Power Angel was connected between the power supply and the AC power outlet to monitor to total system power draw. Results were recorded while at the stock speed and while overclocked, and with the system at idle and under a load. Idle conditions were established by letting the system sit at the Windows desktop with nothing else running for at least five minutes, and the load conditions were established by running 3DMark Vantage and PCMark Vantage. On many systems, the maximum reading might occur while running 3DMark Vantage, but the graphics apparently won't draw that much extra power, and it wound up being during PCMark Vantage that the most power was consumed. From the chart below we can see that whether at idle or under a load, the power draw is tiny. Since the values were so low, I assumed I had the Power Angel in the wrong mode at first, and was very impressed to see that the whole system drew well under 100W at all time.
On a related note, and one that ties into my surprise at the low power consumption... The cooler on the motherboard's chipset gets extremely hot while in use. I happened to brush the back of my hand against it during testing and was surprised I didn't get burned. Using an infrared thermometer, I measured the cooler's surface temperature to be between 60C (idle) and 75C (load), and even the backside of the motherboard got to 65C directly below the chipset. That tells me the chipset itself is running even hotter, and the stock cooler just isn't getting the job done.
While the silence of a passively cooled system is great for an HTPC or desktop setup, I think that some sort of fan or cooler upgrade is in order for this motherboard. Using a CPU cooler that blows down onto the motherboard would be a good idea, but so many of the really good aftermarket coolers aren't configured in this manner.