[H] Readers, Reviewers & Editors, I'm going to get straight to the point: Why do I need 16, 24, or 32 power phases for my CPU? Seriously, why? With all of the P55 motherboards coming out of the woodworks sporting larger multiples of CPU power chokes and MOSFETs than the board that preceded it, I can't help but wonder. I'm not an engineer by any stretch of the imagination, which is why I pose my question here. Here are my arguments: 1. Additional power phases do not aid in overclocking or stability. [H] has reviewed six Asus X58 motherboards in the last year: P6T, P6T Deluxe, P6T6 WS Revolution, P6T7 WS SuperComputer, Rampage II Extreme, and Rampage II Gene. All six performed nearly equal at stock clocks, and they all overclocked to frequencies of 3.8 - 4.0GHz [I don't consider 200MHz significant and is within the tolerance of review sample variation]. The P6T and the Rampage II Gene are outfitted with 8 power phases to the CPU, while the other four have 16. If doubling the number of CPU power phases helps to stabilize power for better overclocking, then why is it that both the P6T (8 phase) and the P6T6 (16 phase) were able to both reach 4.0 GHz with equal stability using similar CPU voltage? Why is it the $250 board performed equally as well as the $400 board? Now, it could be said that the additional power phases are useful for people who use extreme methods for overclocking, and this could possibly be true. The P6T6 WS Revolution allegedly holds the record for a Core i7 overclock, but I haven't heard a.) Anything about how stable that system was for doing anything but benchmarking, b.) What ridiculous kind of cooling apparatus it took to keep the CPU stable, or c.) How much the power circuitry played into stability. In the end, a power phase advantage does little for the majority of consumers. I, for one, prefer my system inside a case without having to constantly feed it liquid nitrogen to keep it from BSOD'ing on me. 2. Additional power phases do not help save energy. While [H] may not include a look at power consumption as part of their motherboard review process (which I find intriguing, considering power consumption is an essential part of the video card and CPU review procedure), other review sites do, especially since 'going green' is considered en vogue these days. Asus, Gigabyte, and MSI all have their power saving tricks, and most of these seem related to regulating power phases around the CPU. Mind you, none of these seem to work properly while overclocking, which would mean that this 'feature' claim is aimed at the mainstream enthusiast. There seem to be a multitude of ways to measure the power draw of the motherboard, but I don't think that matters much, so long as one review site measures power draw in a consistent fashion. With that in mind, I present to you part of a review from Bit-Tech. I purposely chose this review as it includes all three of the aforementioned motherboard companies and their implemented power-saving features on X58 motherboards. Despite the X58 chipset being an elite enthusiast chipset, it should clearly prove my point regardless of who power-saving features are marketed to. Looking at Bit-Tech's chart, it would seem that the MSI boards have the lowest power consumption in any comparable setting of their power-saving program. Also worth mentioning, the MSI X58 Pro features 5 phases to the CPU and the X58 Eclipse has 6. The next nearest in low power consumption is Gigabyte's X58 UD3R, which features 8 power phases. Asus's P6T Deluxe, using 16 phases, consumes more energy with it's power saving features turned on than the MSI X58 Pro uses without any power saving feature running. Could this be a poor implementation of a power saving algorithm? Maybe. Could it be related to the MOSFETs and chokes used? Probably, though I don't know by how much. It's also interesting to point out the Rampage II Gene, a mATX board, pulls more than most of the full ATX boards, and the Foxconn boards, both featuring 8 or 16 phase designs, manage to pull more power than either MSI, Gigabyte, or Asus. Go figure. I can at least summarize by saying that if more phases meant better energy efficiency, the boards with the better power phase distribution would have the lowest power consumption and not the opposite way around. In conclusion, I have to ask again: Can anybody explain why I need more CPU power phases? Without any engineering experience, I have, for the most part, logically explained away (or, at the very least, poked significant holes in) any marketing fluff about the benefits. Can my fellow [H] readers, or perhaps the columnists or editors, help me figure out why Asus and Gigabyte are having a pissing contest over CPU phases? (E-peen stroking aside, that is...) Can anybody come up with a real-world benefit, if not help support my theory that there's nothing more to this phenomena than a bunch of PR BS? Thoughtful answers and replies would be appreciated, BTW. Thanks in advance.