However, it is still too early to draw any final conclusions yet. Let’s take a look at the results of our power consumption tests carried out for Newcastle, Winchester and Venice based processors. Just like in the previous case, these measurements were taken in two work modes: in idle mode and in case of maximum CPU workload created by the S&M utility. To estimate the average power consumption we used special clamp multimeter to detect the current going through the 12V circuit powering the CPU. In other words, the data given below doesn’t take into account the performance index of the CPU power converter that is why you may find these numbers a little bit higher than the actual processor power consumption values (about 10%). However, in this case this difference is negligible, because it is relatively small and repeats for all results.
The picture is just the same as in our temperature tests. The CPUs based on 90nm cores boast considerably lower power consumption than their predecessors on ClawHammer core. This tendency takes place for both: idle and burn modes.
As for the power consumptions of Venice and Winchester cores, we can see that the newcomer eats up a little bit more power. The power consumption of the processors with E3 core stepping is about 17% higher than that of processors with D0 core stepping. All this pushes us towards the conclusion that AMD didn’t focus on lowering the power consumption and heat dissipation of its new Venice based processors. In this case Dual Stress Liner technology should primarily ensure higher frequency potential.
However, despite this fact the maximum heat dissipation of the future Venice based Athlon 64 processor working at 2.6GHz core clock will not exceed the indicated threshold of 89W. I would even expect this maximum to remain valid for the 2.8GHz clock frequency, too.
So, from the power consumption point of view, Athlon 64 processors based on the new Venice core have every chance to reach relatively high working frequencies without any additional modifications of the processor voltage regulator on the corresponding Socket 939 mainboards.