Our test setup remains the same as the idle power tests with the Vista power profile set to Balanced. Our feature title is Crank, with a video bitrate up to 37Mbps and an uncompressed PCM soundtrack rated at 6144Kbps or a Dolby Digital Surround 5.1 EX track at 640Kbps.

Consumption - Minimum Spec CPU

Consumption - Dual Core

Consumption - Quad Core

Much like our idle tests, the advantages go to the Biostar TF8200 A2+ board equipped with the GeForce 8200 chipset. The results are an 18W and 25W advantage with the low-end CPUs, 8W and 15W with the dual cores, and an outstanding 10W and 24W difference with the quad cores.

Our initial CPU utilization testing shows the GeForce 8200 and 780G chipsets to be nearly identical so we can negate any potential differences in this area. We are still analyzing the new image quality results, but they seem to be very close so far. We will temper our excitement for now, as new drivers that implement several missing features should be available shortly. We will revise our numbers if there are any significant changes.

Watting to Exhale Doh!


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  • wjl - Sunday, April 27, 2008 - link

    If you own a decent mainboard and processor (meaning anything newer than AMD K7 or Intel P4), I think it's mostly the power supply which can help with efficiency.

    Building my AMD X2 3800+ EE into a bigger case with an 80+ certified power supply (and 90+ is coming soon as well, according to DigiTimes) helped reducing the idle power cosumption from 89W (with one hard disk and TV card) to some 74W (now with two hard disks and TV cards).

    New main boards and single platter hard disks may help, but it's normally better to look at the weak points of your current systems IMHO.
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  • computerfarmer - Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - link

    It is good to see this kind of information. Lower power consumption has its place considering the cost, those that pay the bills will understand. I am looking forward to the 780G roundup, if it includes the 8200, that's good too.
    Keep up the excellent work.
  • bingbong - Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - link

    Ok Thanks to those who said it is available. I will try the vendors again. I have only been looking online because I tried to buy it a couple of times. Actually I am in Taiwan so the availability is usually pretty good.

  • sheh - Monday, April 21, 2008 - link

    This recent power efficiency trend is something I definitely like. At this rate, and with Atom coming, it might be possible to run a decent general-purpose computer on a <200W PSU.

    *cleans up the AT PSU*

  • smilingcrow - Sunday, April 20, 2008 - link

    I’ve tested a couple of systems with different Gigabyte G35 boards with various 65nm C2Ds and idle power consumption averaged around 55W with a spec similar to yours; only 2x1GB of RAM though. SPCR tested the exact same Asus board and managed no worse than 56W at idle although that was with a lesser spec and older less efficient E6400. This makes me wonder how you managed to record 84W at idle with an E2200 when I managed 52.5W with an E2140! Reply
  • wjl - Sunday, April 20, 2008 - link

    Yeah, exactly. My wife's machine (G35, E8200, 2Gig RAM, and a Samsung F1 750) draws some 69W on idle when in Gnome / Debian Lenny - and that is reported to take more than anything M$. The power supply used here is an EarthWatts (Seasonic) 500W 80+, which seems to be ok even at those low levels.

    My own one for comparison: AMD X2 3800+ EE on Nvidia 6150/430, 3Gig, 2x250Gig, 380W EarthWatts 80+ - takes also 69 Watts in its best moments (Gonme / Debian Etch, which doesn't have something like cpufreqd yet), tho here the "average" idle is more like 75W.

  • smilingcrow - Monday, April 21, 2008 - link

    I emailed the author about the G35 power data as it seemed disproportionately high and was skewing the results; he didn’t reply but the G35/E2200 at idle data has now been reduced from 84 to 74W with no reference being made to the change! Reply
  • smilingcrow - Monday, April 21, 2008 - link

    In a previous article by the same author"> he looked at the same Asus G35 & Gigabyte 780G boards but compared them against an Asus GF8200 board and made the following comment:

    “As far as power consumption goes during H.264 playback, the AMD platform averaged 106W, NVIDIA platform at 102W, and the Intel platform averaged 104W - too close to really declare a true winner.”

    The same CPUs were used so some consistency might be expected between that review and the current one, but if the power data for H.264 decoding is compared we get this:

    Old / New / Difference (Watts)

    GF8200 – 102 / 77 / 25
    780G – 106W / 84 / 22
    G35 – 104W / 103 / 1

    Somehow the G35 platform seemed to gain 21 to 24W of power consumption compared to the two AM2+ platforms. Is this purely down to the higher bit-rate of the movie tested in the current review showing up the inefficiency of the G35 platform or is this another anomaly in the G35 power data!
  • deruberhanyok - Saturday, April 19, 2008 - link

    Interesting article but I'd like to echo some thoughts already posted. Seeing the power numbers is great but without any performance context to them (or comparisons being kept to same brand / models as close as possible) it's hard to see exactly where this all fits in.

    Also, low power boxes would be perfectly content running off of something like a Seasonic S12II-330. It could make a difference in overall power usage as well. Silent PC review recently discussed this in their Sparkle 250W 80 plus PSU review.

    As others are, I'm looking forward to seeing the full roundup. Thanks for all the hard work!

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