Articles: Mainboards

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Power Consumption

Another important argument in favor of integrated platforms is their high energy-efficiency compared with systems using stand alone discrete graphics cards. Therefore, in conclusion to our today’s review we took a real close look at the power consumption of systems built around AMD 785G and Intel G45 chipsets. This parameter indicates not only the energy parameters of the systems, but also determines how well they are fit for the quiet HTPC systems usually assembled in small system cases.

Besides the power consumption of full systems without the monitor, we have also measured the power consumption of individual mainboards. This additional number will help us estimate how energy-efficient the actual AMD 785G and Intel G45 chipsets are, when considered without the CPUs. The total power consumption was measured from the wall outlet, while the mainboard power consumption was measured using currents running along 24-pin ATX power cable.

To create maximum CPU load we used 64-bit version of Prime95 25.7 utility in Blend mode. To create maximum video system load we used FurMark 1.6.5 test. For power consumption measurements during video playback, we launched a movie in H.264 1080p format using Media Player Classic Home Cinema. Gaming workload was created in Unreal Tournament 3.

As you can see, the fact that AMD 785G is manufactured with 55 nm process, while Intel G45 is made using 65 nm one affects the power consumption readings clearly. Overall, GA-EG45M-UD2H turns out less energy-efficient than the competing solution for AMD platform. However, if we take full systems power consumption, we will have to change this conclusion to exactly the opposite. The thing is that AMD processors are still not as energy-efficient as Core 2 solutions from Intel, even though both of them are manufactured with the same 45 nm process. As a result, LGA775 systems with integrated graphics can offer way better energy-efficiency than competing solutions based on Phenom II and Athlon II processors.

There is only one exception here: during HD video playback AMD 785G platform performed best. However, the explanation of this success is fairly simple: on the Intel G45 platform it was the CPU that performed video decoding, while on AMD 785G platform the decoding was done in the chipset. Therefore, if we had picked a different software player for our tests that could engage Intel’s brand name Clear Video Technology engine, the outcome would have inevitably been different.

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