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

  • NeonAura - Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - link

    Yonah seems pretty good. Looks to be doing a good job. But I wonder, how much is that 2.0 ghz Yonah chip going to cost? Retail at launch: $400-$450 is my guess. An AMD X2 3800+ is cheaper than that by a bit, and barely sacrifices any performance. The thing is, AMD is just sitting here watching Intel like Intel used to watch them. AMD is waiting for Intel's next move, meanwhile they're ready to start pimping out some fine chips. The Yonah is going to be released Jan-Feb 2006, while the X2's were released June 2005.

    AMD will be ready for Intel, Intel just doesn't know it yet. I'm not a fanboi, but Intel is going to have to throw up some hail marys to take down AMD with the Yonah, Conroe or whatever chips they may have coming. Because AMD hasn't been sitting on their behinds for the past six months. AMD is just being secretive, they want to surprise Intel by putting out their chip that they haven't really talked about right at the same time as Intel puts out Yonah.

    AMD will be playing the same game as Intel soon enough, and Intel better put these chips as cheap as they possibly can or they'll be taken down.
  • mav99 - Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - link

    1. intel has confirmed that merom will be compatible with the new upcoming yonah motherboards. you only need a bios update.

    2. the chipset should support ddr2-667 to match the 667 fsb. why did they use ddr2-533 for the article?
  • yzkbug - Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - link

    My main concern is whether new Conroe/Merom will be compatible with Yonah socket. I hate upgrading the motherboard every time I upgrade my CPU. AMD is definitely better in this respect. Reply
  • Zebo - Friday, December 02, 2005 - link

    Well times are changing- No more 5 years of socket A. AMD doing like Intel nowerdays switching sockets every year..year and half. M2 is coming next year. Before that we had 940 for FX's then 754 and now 939... Reply
  • fitten - Thursday, December 01, 2005 - link

    I typically upgrade my motherboard when I upgrade the CPU as well.... even on my AMD systems. By the time I'm ready to upgrade the CPU, there are typically better boards (more features, better chipset, etc.) around to take better advantage.

    Example, if you bought a Via chipset board with your first Athlon64, it's probably worth spending the extra $85 for a new motherboard to get an nForce4 or better chipset with your new CPU. You can probably get an increase in performance just keeping your old CPU and upgrading the motherboard... especially in features.
  • Shintai - Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - link

    Merom yes, Conroe..will both yes and no. Conroe will use 1066FSB, Meron/Yonah 667FSB. So a Conroe on a Yonah board might be slow due to FSB and multiplier. Reply
  • Leper Messiah - Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - link

    Sooo...yeah. Intel's possible $500+ notebook part thats coming out next year is competive with AMD's currently out $325 desktop part in basically all things, ya know. Except that price thing, and that whole 64-bit thing. Be interesting to see the OC numbers on this and how high they want to take the speeds. As of right now though, meh. Reply
  • fitten - Thursday, December 01, 2005 - link

    Those are pretty good things for a chip destined for your laptop to have... which is where that X2 won't be going (for obvious reasons).

    If you look at this article as being a comparison of desktop systems, then it is pretty ho-hum. If you look at it like you'll be able to have this in a (hopefully) 4-5 lbs laptop and still get over 3 hours (maybe even up to 5) off a battery while you are on the road, then it is a bit more interesting.
  • Leper Messiah - Thursday, December 01, 2005 - link

    See, I (and quite frankly most people) don't even need dual core performance in a laptop. The only way I could actually see my self going out and actually spending money on either one, Yonah or dual core turion is if it was to be my only computer. I don't understand why lap top users need this much power. And I guarentee Intel will make it uber expensive. Reply
  • stateofbeasley - Thursday, December 01, 2005 - link


    The price points are the same as existing Pentium M processors. I don't know why people make the assumption that Yonah will somehow be super expensive, because that's just not true.

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