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Power Consumption

The performance of the hybrid Richland processors increased due to slightly higher clock frequencies. However, there are no changes to the architecture or manufacturing process, which makes us a little concerned that their power consumption may possibly increase, too. Since Trinity couldn’t boast very good power consumption levels, it would be highly undesirable.

To find out more about the power consumption of the new AMD A10-6800K APU, we performed a round of special tests. The new digital power supply unit from Corsair – AX760i – allows monitoring consumed and produced electrical power, which we use actively during our power consumption tests. The graphs below (unless specified otherwise) show the full power draw of the computer (without the monitor) measured after the power supply. It is the total power consumption of all the system components. The PSU's efficiency is not taken into account. The CPUs are loaded by running the 64-bit version of LinX 0.6.4 utility. We used FurMark 1.10.6 utility to load the graphics cores. Moreover, we enabled Turbo mode and all power-saving technologies to correctly measure computer's power draw in idle mode: C1E, C6, Enhanced Intel SpeedStep and AMD Cool’n’Quiet.

In idle mode AMD A10-6800K based system consumed a few watts more power than the same exact platform with A10-5800K inside. This can be explained by the fact that for some reason Richland’s minimum frequency in idle mode was set at 2.0 GHz, while Trinity processors lowered it more: to 1.4 GHz.

In case of full general-purpose load on the Piledriver cores, the power consumption readings of AMD A10-6800K and A10-5800K level out. It means that Richland’s acceleration didn’t come at the expense of higher power consumption and higher heat dissipation, and the declared TDP for difference generations of Socket FM2 processors does in fact reflect the real state of things. Note that AMD A10-6800K consumes much more power than Intel CPUs, which is actually quite logical, because the calculated TDP of the Core i3 and Core i5 processors from Ivy Bridge generation is set at 55 W or 77 W instead of 100 W by A10-6800K.

Under heavy graphics load AMD A10-6800K and AMD A10-5800K based systems also consume about the same amount of power, with a slight advantage in Trinity’s favor. Core i3 and Core i5 need significantly less power in this case, but it is important to remember that they also have much lower 3D performance.

Full utilization of all types of cores in hybrid processors reveals that Richland is still a somewhat more energy-hungry design than Trinity. In fact, everything is within reason. The difference we observe is only 5 W. Intel processors, however, again demonstrate slightly better power consumption than their Socket FM2 competitors. However, we wouldn’t draw any preliminary conclusions at this point, until we get our hands on a better Richland processor with a 65 W TDP.

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