Summing up I would like to admit that being economical is the major advantage of AMD Athlon 64 X2 Energy Efficient processors. They really consume less power and dissipate less heat than their standard counterparts. The CPUs with 65W TDP consume 25-30% less power under workload, while the CPUs with 35W TDP allow you to save about 55% of power. Of course, these features of the Energy Efficient make them ideal for small and quiet systems such as getting more and more popular home multimedia centers, entertainment centers and small form-factor PCs.
Unfortunately, Energy Efficient cannot boast anything else besides the lowered thermal and electrical characteristics. They do not differ in architecture from the “standard” Athlon 64 and hence perform absolutely identically. As for their overclocking potential, which might be of specific interest to hardware enthusiasts, we have to upset you. Despite the expectations, Energy Efficient AMD CPUs cannot boast higher overclocking potential. They may even overclock worse than their “standard” analogues. Although their lowered power consumption allows you to raise the core voltage much higher, it doesn’t help to hit the extreme clock speeds.
Closing up our review I would like to add that from the heat dissipation and power consumption standpoints, the AMD Energy Efficient processors can easily compete with the new Intel Core 2 Duo CPUs based on Core microarchitecture, which offers extremely efficient performance-per-watt ratio. 65W Athlon 64 X2 consume less power under low workload than the Core 2 Duo units with the same performance level. As for AMD processors with 35W TDP, they turn out absolutely beyond any competition from the electrical and thermal prospective, although you should always keep in mind that at the same time they are not so fast as the competitor.
By the way, AMD processors with 35W TDP really impressed us with their thermal mode. The screenshot below was taken during our test session. The numbers speak for themselves:
All in all we are ready to voice our verdict: Energy Efficient AMD processors will be interesting only for those platforms where low power consumption and heat dissipation are critical. In all other cases they may not be the best choice keeping in mind their higher price.