Power Consumption

For our power consumption numbers we only used a subset of CPUs that we actually had (rather than underclocking CPUs to simulate others). First off, we'll look at a comparison of the important CPU datapoints. :

Total System Power Consumption

With the exception of the Q9300, Intel's competing chips draw less power at idle than even the new energy efficient AMD chips. Cool'n'Quiet was enabled here despite the performance impacts we mentioned earlier.

Total System Power Consumption

Under load we see the gap widen - Intel's 45nm process simply gives it the edge in power consumption. Note that the CPU is only being used to decrypt and stream data to the GPU here while we're watching a H.264 encoded Blu-ray (The Simpsons).

Total System Power Consumption

The trend does mostly continue in a more CPU-bound test. The chips are all fairly close in power consumption but AMD doesn't have the advantage here.

The next set of tests is particularly interesting as we are comparing Intel's top integrated graphics platform (G35) to AMD's (780G). No external graphics card was used, this is strictly an IGP comparison:

Total System Power Consumption - G35 vs. 780G

AMD does a bit better here at idle, but look at what happens while we watch a Blu-ray:

Total System Power Consumption - G35 vs. 780G

Intel's G35 doesn't have any H.264 decode acceleration, meaning the CPU is forced to handle the entire decode process - thus Phenom gets a bit of a break. It is funny that despite handling all of the Blu-ray decoding, the E7200 actually pulls less power than the Phenom X4 9550 with hardware acceleration.

Gaming Performance Final Words
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  • Sylvanas - Tuesday, July 1, 2008 - link

    Wheres the 9950BE overclocking results? It is an unlocked CPU so what about Overclocking the NB? What performance difference does that bring? I doubt people that buy IGP's are going to overclocking much anyway since they are usually silent HTPC rigs... Reply
  • Gary Key - Tuesday, July 1, 2008 - link

    The 9950BE overclocking results are coming in a different article. Unfortunately, our 790FX boards (they have been beat on for six months) were not exactly up to speed and we thought it would be better to not show anything instead of a 2.8GHz clock that obviously is not representative of the processor at this point.

    Also, most of our previous results were run on the 780G, a chipset that when tuned correctly and on a good board will outclock the 790FX with a discreet graphics card by the way. Jetway just released a fairly comprehensive BIOS for their new 780G we ended up using after the others started failing. We just received BIOS updates for the 780a boards and have a new 790FX/SB750 arriving shortly for a CF/SLI update on AMD (gaming is not that bad by the way on the Phenom for the mid-range market).

    Increasing the NB core (IMC) clock (in Phenom it runs async from the Core Speed unlike Athlon which is Sync) drops latencies (especially L3) and increases memory performance/throughput, which in turn improves system performance. The Phenom starts to come to life when you hit a 2.6GHz core speed with a NB core clock at 2200MHz+. Depending on the application and CPU, increasing NB core speeds (getting up to 2200MHz+) can result in performance differences from 3%~12% in most cases.

    Almost as important is increasing HT speed for further optimizing the pipeline links (CPU/Memory/PCIe,etc). Our 9950BE follow up will have an overclocking guide along with optimization details.
    Reply
  • Sylvanas - Wednesday, July 2, 2008 - link

    Excellent, thanks for the info Gary- I look forward to the follow up 9950BE overclocking article. If there is some info on the SB750 aswell that's even better :) Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Tuesday, July 1, 2008 - link

    AMD post X2 = ROFLMAO

    The C&Q thing is probably another respin waiting to happen. What a bunch of boobs.
    Reply
  • acejj26 - Tuesday, July 1, 2008 - link

    what's a seccond?
    why didn't you include the 9950 in the first page of benchmarks?
    is the 9960 a new processor from AMD?

    i've come to expect these errors from other staff writers, but not you Anand.
    Reply
  • skiboysteve - Tuesday, July 1, 2008 - link

    why are you using 780G to overclock and check stability on the same article you say how someone else wrote an article about how that is a bad idea because of power...

    you even say at the bottom of your overclocking page, a mere footnote, that you got higher clocks on a different platform
    Reply
  • js01 - Tuesday, July 1, 2008 - link

    I think they scale much better then that hothardware got the 9950be to 3.1ghz barely even trying and the 9350e to 2.7ghz.
    http://www.hothardware.com/Articles/AMD_Phenom_X4_...">http://www.hothardware.com/Articles/AMD...nom_X4_9...
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Tuesday, July 1, 2008 - link

    It depends on the board and CPU actually. We have a retail 9850BE that will do 3.3, but three others struggle to make it to 2.8. Until we see some consistency in the retail parts, we would rather play it safe with the comments. A separate overclocking article is on its way though with the new lineup. :) Reply
  • woofermazing - Tuesday, July 1, 2008 - link

    Odd that you guys couldn't get any OC out of the 9950. Results from other sites have been pretty impressive using the stock cooler. 3.6ghz is the highest of seen so far. Reply
  • Clauzii - Wednesday, July 2, 2008 - link

    I second that!

    PS: And why does the comment page keep looking like pre-95 internet :O (I'm on FF3)
    Reply

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