Power Consumption and Final Words

At 2.0GHz, Yonah is basically equal to, if not slightly slower than an Athlon 64 X2 running at the same clock speed in virtually all of the tests we ran. The important distinction here is that Intel is able to achieve that level of performance, without an on-die memory controller. But there is also one more thing to note, Yonah can offer that level of performance with significantly lower power consumption:

Total System Power Consumption - Idle

Total System Power Consumption - Load

While the Yonah and Athlon 64 X2 systems consumed relatively similar power at idle, Yonah hardly eats up any more power under full load. In fact, a 2.0GHz Yonah under 100% load consumes less power than an Athlon 64 X2 3800+ at idle. Obviously Intel has the advantage of being on a much lower power 65nm process, but it won't be until the second half of next year before we see any Athlon 64 X2s at 65nm, so it is an advantage that Intel will have for quite some time.

Although we didn't consider it as such here today , Yonah will be quite impressive on notebooks. The thought of having such a cool running dual core processor in a notebook is honestly amazing, and the performance difference (especially for multitaskers) over what we have today will be significant. The other thing to keep in mind is that when you go from a single core to a dual core Pentium M notebook, you won't be giving up anything at all. On the desktop side, you normally give up clock speed for dual core support, but Yonah will be running at very similar frequencies to what Dothan is running at today. In other words, you won't be giving up single threaded performance in favor of multi-threaded performance - you'll get the whole package.

As a desktop contender, Yonah is a bit of a mixed bag. While its performance in content creation applications has definitely improved over the single core Dothan, it still falls behind the Athlon 64 X2 in a handful of areas. Intel still needs to improve their video encoding and gaming performance, but it looks like we may have to wait for Conroe and Merom for that.

Multitasking Performance


View All Comments

  • Missing Ghost - Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - link

    Why no EM64T???
    They should add this, or I'll buy Turions.
  • fitten - Thursday, December 01, 2005 - link

    Do you really *use* 64-bit software today? or just run it to say you run it? or just dream of running 64-bit software? I think Intel is pretty much right-on with what they said about 64-bit in the mobile market. I don't know of anyone who would really do anything with 64-bit right now other than just "have it". I have it at home because I write software that I test on both 32-bit and 64-bit platforms. Other than that, I have no use for 64-bit software yet. I don't run massive databases, I don't run massive CFS/CFD simulation codes. I don't run GIS software where I worry about having the entire world in memory mapped to the nearest centimeter. 32-bit is still fine. I'd like to have a 64-bit laptop myself, but that's so I could develop/test the software I write and not for much other reason.

    Also, 64-bit is more transistors which means more power draw.
  • tfranzese - Thursday, December 01, 2005 - link

    Business users I've seen tend to hold on to laptops for quite some time, and when they are done with them they sometimes end up in another groups hands where they can use it for hosting/serving small applications, and not limited to legacy software/OSs.

    I think it's a big misstep to not engineer 64-bit extensions into Yonah. As I mentioned earlier, almost every processor being sold today is a 64-bit desktop or server CPU. With that kind of penetration, it's only a matter of time (which is fast approaching) when 64-bit Windows development will pick up speed. Vista is getting very close (~1 year) and this chip isn't even released yet.
  • Shintai - Thursday, December 01, 2005 - link

    Business also dont tend to upgrade early. The larger the slower basicly.

    So a 32bit desktop and laptop will be fine the next 5 years or more. Alot still uses windows 2000 and havent even moved to XP and 2003 server.

    Just because the ubergeek can get Vista before xmas 2006 doesn´t mean any business will implement it.
  • stateofbeasley - Thursday, December 01, 2005 - link

    Again, the problem is the assumption that Vista is x64 only - that is wrong. Vista has concurrent x86 and x64 builds. The assumption is that Microsoft will make all software x64 once Vista is out - that is also a foolish assumption to make, given that MS has said nothing about moving office to x64 only.

    Businesses are also going to be very slow to adopt 64-bit OSes for clients. Where I work we upgraded to Windows XP last month. Our IS department isn't planning to roll out Vista any sooner than 2008 - they want at least one service pack (preferably two) and a few months to validate.

    People at AnandTech tend to view these things from the enthusiast standpoint, which is far different than the business standpoint. What makes sense from the enthusiast standpoint is often idiocy from the perspective of a department responsible for maintaining a corporate infrustructure comprising hundreds or thousands of machines.
  • BrownTown - Thursday, December 01, 2005 - link

    32 or 64 bits is just marketing stuff. What matters is performance, if a 32bit processor can put out the same performance as a 64bit one then its just as good in my book. Also, people arent gonna go buy Vista as soon as it comes out, it mostly be sold only in new computers. And by the time it comes out Intel should have Mermon ready which does have the 64bit extensions. Im sure Intel considered this and figured that the added transisters were to much to account for the benefit. Reply
  • Scarceas - Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - link

    I think the mobile market could REALLY benefit from two different cores...

    A low-power core for most of the time, that will extend battery life while providing enough performance for web browsing and word processing... and a higher performing core for when the performance is needed.

    Pipe dream?
  • Furen - Thursday, December 01, 2005 - link

    Two different cores on the same package? That's what speedstep is for. If you dont need the power you run at low clock speeds and clock up when you do. This way you dont duplicate logic. Reply
  • miketheidiot - Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - link

    i thinks its interesting that pepole are freaking out here because a top end intel dual core managed to come close to AMD's bottom of the line dual core chip. I think that says alot about intel now days. Reply
  • Hikari - Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - link

    Ahh, yes, a dual core mobile cpu using less power comes out close in speed (faster, the same, and sometimes slower, depending on the test) to a low-end desktop dual-core. ;) Reply

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