"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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  • LuxZg - Friday, April 18, 2008 - link

    First, I have to agree with Black Jacque, again I see reviews of low power systems done with higher power supplies, which is not good. Out of those 100-130W you probably have another 10% wasted power on PSU inefficiencies, which is sometimes as much as you save by choosing "right" chipset/CPU combo.

    Anyway, now that we know which chipsets are good and low power, and that they can run HD video, could you make an article that would show an alternative power source of around 180W? Let's say solar cells? I saw an article like that a while ago on Tom's (found it! http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/technical-foun...">http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/tec...dations-... ) and it would be nice to see a similar "investigation" after you finish this IGP comparision series :)
    Reply
  • Calin - Friday, April 18, 2008 - link

    You are comparing the performance of an AMD single core (LE1600) processor against the dual core E2200 from Intel? Reply
  • Conroe - Saturday, April 19, 2008 - link

    Why not test with a 440? It's not that anyone would recommend a single core now with prices as they are. In my opinion dual core are even more green as you almost double processing power only adding a few more watts to the total. Either way I'm sure G35 still uses more power.
    Reply
  • Black Jacque - Friday, April 18, 2008 - link

    I note they used a Corsair CMPSU-520HX for the testing. This PSU is inappropriately sized for the wattages reported.

    To get the highest efficiency out of that power supply you should run at about half its rated wattage.
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Friday, April 18, 2008 - link

    Might be the smallest PSU they have around. Other than the small Seasonics and the Antec Earthwatts series, are there many power supplies in the 300-400 watt range that are reasonably high quality and more efficient?

    Side note: Love how Newegg's "Play it green" banner shows an Antec TruePower Quattro 1000. Nothing says green like a thousand watt PSU.
    Reply
  • cghebert - Friday, April 18, 2008 - link

    The ECS version of the 8200 is available now

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...">http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a...N82E1681...

    But I believe the rest won't be released until later this month due to incomplete drivers from Nvidia at this point.

    Gary, another great teaser article. I'm still sitting on my hands waiting for the full 780g and geforce 8200 roundup. Will any of the tests be done under Windows XP, or will it all be Vista?

    Reply
  • Martimus - Friday, April 18, 2008 - link

    That's a good question. I know that I plan on using Linux on my HTPC that I am building. (planning on a 780G and 4850e X2, but may change my mind based on your article)

    Also, does the 4850e X2 come with a quiet heatsink, or is it rather loud? I am trying to make the system as quiet as possible.
    Reply
  • gogos7 - Friday, April 18, 2008 - link

    You used an Asus motherboard in the Intel configuration.

    Asus M/Bs (the last 2 years) are well known for their high power consumption.

    What do you expect?
    Reply
  • sprockkets - Sunday, April 20, 2008 - link

    They are the only one at the time that have a G35 board available. Reply
  • R3MF - Friday, April 18, 2008 - link

    I am sat on a wad of cash looking to buy a mATX gaming system for a SUGO 03 case, and completely stymied by the lack of decent AM2+ boards capable to REALLY taking 125W load processors.

    Both MSI and Abit have solid-caps 8200 boards advertised which is great, but there is complete silence over when they will be released!

    When can i buy an 8200 board?
    Reply

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