Performance is not the only practical spec that may be of interest to potential buyers of value CPUs. Many users decide to go for value solutions not for money-saving reasons, but because of lower power consumption of such processors compared to their higher-speed counterparts. And this makes processors like that a pretty attractive choice for miniature multimedia systems, like HTPC, which often do not require high processor performance at all. Therefore, we decided to add a power consumption comparison to our extensive performance tests.
The graphs below show the full power draw of the computer (without the monitor) measured after the power supply. It is the total of the 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 LinX 0.6.4 utility. We enabled all the power-saving technologies for a correct measurement of the computer's power draw in idle mode: C1E, AMD Cool'n'Quiet and Enhanced Intel SpeedStep.
In idle mode all tested systems consume about the same amount of power with a slight advantage towards AMD based platforms.
However, things change dramatically as soon as processors get hit with computational load. Celeron and Pentium prove more energy-efficient than AMD CPUs with similar price and performance. And in this case the power consumption difference is pretty significant: almost 20-30 W.
So, looks like Intel processors are a way better fit for energy-efficient, miniature or quiet systems. AMD can only offer special energy-efficient processors with 45 W TDP for systems like that. However, it is important to remember that processors like that work at lower clock speeds, cost more and are more difficult to find in stores.