"Lord, keep my memory green."

That's a great quote from one of best novelists during the Victorian era. If Charles Dickens was writing today, he might be tempted to put a spin on current events by saying, "Lord, keep my products green." As we look around the world today there is one subject that is almost universally discussed, dissected, and leads to arguments as heated as religion or politics. That subject is environmentalism. Put in the simplest terms, we simply say, "…going green…" to describe the current hot topic (pun intended).

Everywhere we look now, there is a story, guideline, or product available that we as a human race can utilize to improve our surroundings and reduce our footprint on this wonderful planet we call Earth. While this article could spin out of control quickly based on your beliefs on what is right or wrong with the environment, we simply want to provide our spin on the power requirements for the latest IGP platforms from AMD, NVIDIA, and Intel.


Notice we say platforms. Yes, the chipsets are a very important factor in the overall power consumption of a system, though the main watt robbing items are generally the CPU and GPU. In addition, the number of storage devices, cooling apparatus, and the power supply all play an integral part in the ecosystem we like to call the personal computer.

Our quick look today is by no means a comprehensive review of system power consumption; instead, we are providing an additional focus on the power requirements of the three latest IGP solutions available in the market. We felt like this information would get lost in the multitude of pages in the forthcoming roundup, so a sidebar article seemed appropriate. The results today will provide an extra glimpse into the platform differences when using the same exact components on the AMD side sans the motherboard/chipset and competitive offerings from Intel for comparison. We plan to do the same for our video comparisons between these platforms.

We know the hardware manufacturers are pushing energy conservation from just about every possible angle, including Gigabyte's Dynamic Energy Saver solution and Western Digital's GreenPower series of hard drives. What we would like to know from the readership is if additional articles (more in-depth) centered on platform power efficiencies is something of interest. This type of information would cover categories from HTPC to Gaming, along with recommendations of products that offer the "greenest" performance for your particular system.

That said, let's see which particular platform wins Al Gore's heart… or if you prefer, which saves you enough pennies to buy that Hummer you always wanted.  (4/22/08 Update - We will provide additional numbers utilizing a Intel DG35EC motherboard and a new ASUS P5E-VM HDMI BIOS in the near future, initial testing shows the Intel DG35EC providing results about 6~11% better than the ASUS board, additional AMD board results will be provided also)

Putting It All Together
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  • Darth Farter - Saturday, April 19, 2008 - link

    awesome, over here where it's US$ 30cents/kWH you can understand that it will start to make a difference. Only thing I would like to see is Undervolting tho that like overclocking depends on the mileage. I'm running a G1 brisbane at 2Ghz with 0.975vcore on a 690g for 24/7 download/internet box. I wonder what it costs me/month Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, April 19, 2008 - link

    Given our earlier calculations of $0.10/kWh, tripling the cost of energy means you're looking at savings of up to $30 per year for 24/7 use and a difference of 10W. If you're running a 100W PC 24/7 for a whole year, that PC would cost $262.80 at $0.30/kWh or $87.60 at $0.10/kWh. Reply
  • royalcrown - Saturday, April 19, 2008 - link

    What is going on with the fried mosfets also, we never did get that weekend update ;) ?
    Reply
  • royalcrown - Saturday, April 19, 2008 - link

    Why don't you have ANAND buy you guys some meters and on EVERY GFX card or PROCESSOR review list the actual wattage used by the systems. This NEEDING of at LEAST a 550 watt ps is BS for those of us that will never use dual cards.

    I just calculated that my new system on FULL load should draw about 280 watts with an 8800gt, so a 400 watt supply with 450 peak is fine for me . I read than Nvidia claims 125 watts on their page and the real draw is a lot less when they use the meter.

    I for one am sick of these companies pushing monster PSU when they AREN'T needed in every case, and sites like Anandtech should give us the scoop instead of plastering ads for 1200 watt psu and not telling readers that we may not need even 550.
    Reply
  • Zaranthos - Saturday, April 19, 2008 - link

    That's a fact. I'm so sick of seeing insanely large power supplies shoved down peoples throats. I keep upgrading my computer and my 300W power supply keeps running my computer just fine. You'd think that wasn't even possible by most of the reviews/ads/propaganda. I'd like to see tests showing what the minimum power supply requirements are. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, April 19, 2008 - link

    You mean like our PSU reviews where we repeatedly state that the only way you can even come near the point where a 1000W PSU is required is if you're heavily (i.e. water- or phase-cooling) overclocking your quad-core CPU and running 3-way or 4-way GPUs?

    Most PSUs are at maximum efficiency around the 50% load mark, but even at 30% load the good PSUs are above 83% efficiency. Couple that to the fact that a 600W PSU is generally quieter delivering 150W than a 300W PSU delivering the same wattage, and there are reasons to buy higher-spec PSUs. The biggest reason to buy a higher spec PSU, of course, is that it's very difficult to find good quality PSUs rated under 400W. (Seasonic and the Seasonic-built PSUs are about the only option.)

    All that is totally overlooking the fact that *testing* with a highly-rated 520W PSU is not the same as saying the PSU is required. What's important is consistency, and here we are using the same PSU for all tests. It should have an 80-85% efficiency across the tested power requirements, which is well within the margin of error. If we drop to a 300W Seasonic, power draw might change slightly, but proportionately the results should be nearly identical to what we see in this article.

    Perhaps Gary can chime in here with some comments; I know that he sent me an initial configuration table for this article on Thursday and then changed the PSU and case later that night. The original PSU was a Seasonic unit, so perhaps he ran into some difficulties. Again, not that it really makes a difference.
    Reply
  • Wirmish - Saturday, April 19, 2008 - link

    Flight Simulator X Test:
    nVidia vs AMD -> 0W to 3W, or ~2%.
    Ok... nVidia win by 2%.

    And "watt" about the FPS during these benchs ?
    Did nVidia 8200 have -2% FPS vs AMD 780G ?

    And if the 780G is faster, can you underclock it, or overclock the 8200 ?
    Try it... just to compare the consumption at the same performance level.
    Reply
  • Esben - Saturday, April 19, 2008 - link

    Thanks for shedding light on the current IGP situation. It's great to see Nvidia is still competitive in the IGP-business, consumption wise. Now we eagerly await the performance numbers.

    Please keep writing about IGPs and power consumption. I'd find it very interesting if you made an articles about maximizing performance per watt, and how far in performance you can push the IGP.

    An IGP-system is fitting most peoples needs, so the interest is definitely there.
    Reply
  • jacito - Friday, April 18, 2008 - link

    The artical is very well written, and this is going to sound rather stupid, but what does IGP stand for? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, April 18, 2008 - link

    IGP = Integrated Graphics Processor Reply

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