Articles: CPU

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Power Consumption

Thus, the mini-ITX platform based on AMD components, including an ultra energy efficient processor, proves to be substantially faster than Nvidia ION, but cannot match the mini-ITX platform with a full-featured desktop Celeron. This should not be viewed as a failure of the Athlon II X2 250u because modern compact systems are not supposed to be extremely fast. They must be power-efficient in the first place. Their users are interested in having an optimal ratio of performance to power consumption, rather than in each of these too parameters individually.

From a theoretical point of view, the key components of our configurations have the following peak power consumption.

But we know that theoretical data do not always agree with what the practical experiments show. Therefore, we performed some power consumption tests where we measured total system power consumption of our platforms (without the monitor). All the readings were taken “past” the power supply unit and represent overall power consumption of all system components. In this case we do not take into account the efficiency of the PSU itself. During our tests we used 64-bit LinX 0.6.4 utility to load the CPUs to the utmost extent. We used FurMark 1.8.0 to load the graphics sub-system. All available power-saving technologies were activated.

Nvidia ION is about 30% more economical in idle mode than its opponents that showed similar results. In other words, the energy-efficient Athlon II X2 250u cannot boast any specific achievements in terms of power consumption in idle mode.

When there is some work for the CPU to do, the situation changes dramatically. Our platform based on a dual-core Celeron begins to consume far more than the AMD platform which fits in between the Atom and Celeron in terms of power draw.

Under high graphics load the AMD 785G-based platform needs about as much power as Nvidia ION based one. It means that despite Nvidia’s claims, GeForce 9300 can hardly be considered an energy-efficient solution.

The AMD platform takes an in-between position under mixed load, too. This position corresponds to its level of performance, actually.

Power consumption during video playback is the only test where Athlon II X2 250u platform is worse than its opponents. This process is accelerated by the integrated graphics core and GeForce 9300 is obviously more efficient than Radeon HD 4200 at this task. Besides, Celeron-based platform keeps the CPU in a power-saving state during this test whereas Athlon II X2 250u is working at its full clock rate.

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