Power Consumption Results

As we’ve been alluding to throughout this article, power consumption is on the forefront of processor technology now, and into the future. So, starting with this article, we will be including Power Consumption results in future IT articles. It should be no surprise that Opteron dominated these tests, but it probably will be to those who concentrated on performance, and power was of no concern. The Bensley system used approximately 1.5x the amount of power in the idle load test over the Opteron system. Given that a Dempsey (130 W) processor uses approximately 1.4x the amount of power as an Opteron (95 W), the results are inline with the specifications for the two processors.

As the load on the system grew, the Bensley system used 1.7x and 1.8x more power (respective to the 50% and 100% load levels). It’s obvious that the Opteron system is more efficient at higher load levels than the Bensley, thus using less power. The Opteron’s on-die memory controller is one of the factors that would allow the Opteron to be more efficient at higher load levels.

Power Utilization (idle)

Power Utilization (40-60% utilization)

Power Utilization (100% utilization)

Database Benchmark Results How does power consumption affect the bottom line?


View All Comments

  • coldpower27 - Friday, December 16, 2005 - link

    And I am interested how did you get a difference of $8140 to begin with. Reply
  • Furen - Friday, December 16, 2005 - link

    I took a lot of shortcuts just to get a rough approximation but here it goes:

    406W - 260W = 166W
    166W * 24H/day = 3984WH/day
    3984WH/day * 365 days = 1,454,160WH/year = 1,454kWH/year
    1,454kWH/year * $.14/kWH (which is overpriced, by the way, since consumers normally pay more than businesses) = $203.58/year

    $203.58/year * 40 systems = $8143.30/year for 40 systems.
  • Viditor - Friday, December 16, 2005 - link

    Good point...forgot about the power conversion and power supply loss. Reply
  • Furen - Friday, December 16, 2005 - link

    I didn't mean PSU power loss, but rather that many data centers convert the AC input to DC at the distribution centers and the convert it to AC again just before sending it to the server, since servers are not built to operate on DC.

    PSU loss is already reflected in anadtech's measurements, since power consumption is measured at the plug.
  • Furen - Friday, December 16, 2005 - link

    man, I would kill for an edit function on comments... Reply
  • Viditor - Friday, December 16, 2005 - link


    The actual difference between running 40 Opteron Systems & 40 Bensley Systems for 1 Year @ 40-60% Load comes to a difference of $5890.4 ~ 1/10 the amount Anandtech reports

    You're forgetting the cost of cooling (which is much higher than just the CPU...)
  • coldpower27 - Friday, December 16, 2005 - link

    They are measuring total power draw of the 2 systems which includes the energy used by the cooling system. I am not forgeting anything. I am only interested in cost of electricity used by the 2 systems.

    Anandtech isn't incorporating cost of cooling into it's numbers either.
  • Jason Clark - Friday, December 16, 2005 - link

    If we had complete systems from both vendors, this would have been possible. Unfortunately, we had a pre-production validation platform and a motherboard and two cpus from amd :)... So, what we did was make the bensley system as close to the open air opteron system as we could. I agree, we need to get some complete systems with their cooling mechanisms in place, and we'll work on the vendors next year for that. Reply
  • Viditor - Friday, December 16, 2005 - link

    The cooling systems I refer to are the airconditioning, not the HSF or the case fans...
    By doubling the heat output, you are also doubling the air con requirements.
  • coldpower27 - Friday, December 16, 2005 - link

    Which would be offset by the heating provided in the Winter time. Reply

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