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Power Consumption

Socket AM3: AMD's Phenom II Gets DDR3

The above power consumption chart is representive of a full PCMark Vantage run on six of the eight processors we benchmarked. Even with the omission of two, it's still a fairly intimidating graph. But it's full of good information.

All of the tests in this review were run with each processor's power-saving features enabled. This is something we've shied away from in the past, since turning on functionality like Cool'n'Quiet and EIST do affect performance. However, it's more representative of real-world usage.

Without even getting into the averages and consumption numbers, you can clearly see that the Phenom II X4 810, with its 4 MB L3 cache and DDR3-based platform, is clearly using the least amount of power under idle conditions. The simulated Phenom II X4 910, denoted by the black line, uses significantly more power, suggesting that there are palpable efficiency gains to be had by adopting a DDR3 platform (though some of the difference must also be attributed to the smaller cache).

Averaging out the results from each run yields the following:

Phenom II X4 810
Sim. Phenom II X4 910
Phenom X4 9950 BE
Phenom X3 8750
Core 2 Duo E8500
Core i7 920
Average Power
157.59 W
172.63 W
191.66 W
196.80 W
161.08 W
195.95 W
Power Consumption in Wh

One of the lowest average power measurements and the quickest runtime help Intel's Core 2 Duo E8500 finish in front here, but it's followed closely by AMD's new Phenom II X4 810. The simulated Phenom II X4 does very well in average power, but because its run took particularly long, overall consumption results don't look as good. Even still, we recognize that, more often than not, your PC is going to be idling, where you'll see the Phenom II chips running at 800 MHz and sipping power rather than gulping it down.

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