Originally Posted by Singletrack
Regarding "clean" oil; it isn't better, it just isn't any worse : ) The visual appearance of oil has nothing to do with how well it can lubricate an engine. Just as a used oil analysis does not tell you the ability of the oil to lubricate the engine either. Changing it every 5k certainly won't hurt, but I can guarantee you that a modern synthetic oil can properly lubricate the engine for far longer.
I basically followed the BMW break-in procedure and burn a quart every 5-6k miles or so. Honestly, there is very little chance of correlating one to the other either IMHO. There are a lot of factors that affect oil consumption including, but not limited to, environment, driving style, manufacturing tolerances, etc.
When I referred to clean oil, I meant new oil (symantecs). I never made any reference to oil color and it's ability to lubricate.
I generally split the BMW oil change interval. If BMW requires the oil change in 12k miles I replace it at 6k.