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CPU Energy consumption + bang for you buck

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February 19, 2007 4:09:02 AM

Howdy,

I've been trollin the stores and been around the net tryin to figure out where the target is on power consumption in CPUs. It's been a while since ive been hardware shopping and im pretty behind on the times, and im lookin to buy a laptop for simply word processing, but ive been doing some research and im not really sure where I should stand.

From what I've come across/been told, the intel core duo is place to be right now, their the most power effecient and your getting the most for your money there. I'm trying to build a laptop for just word processing, so its pretty boring, im not looking too much to build a blazing fast machine, but being able to run a really energy efficent one.
Now, I've been lookin at the Core Duo T2400 & T5200. The T2400 is at a 1.83 GHz, and is still stuck in the 2mb L2cache, which i dont so much have a problem with, but perhaps to the untrained eye (my eye), it has another meaning for power efficency. The T5200 is also catching my eye because of the drop in speed (compared to the T2400, from 1.83-1.60GHz) but a resulting rise in price, im kind of questioning whats goin on there.

Any advice would be nice, toward this or whether it be in another direction.
Thanks!
-And1
February 19, 2007 4:49:45 AM

If you're not going to be doing many power-hungry tasks on your laptop, then pretty much any Core or Core 2 based system will have all the speed you need. If you can, you might consider looking for systems built around the L2xxx or L7xxx series, as these are low-voltage models with rated power consumption around 15W (instead of the standard 35W). There are also the U-series ultra-low voltage processors that are rated as low as 9 watts for dual-core and 5.5 watts for single-core. If you're after ultimate battery life, a Core Solo U1400 processor at 1.4 GHz comes with the 5.5W power rating.

AMD may have similar low-voltage Turion prodcts, but I'm not as familiar with their products.

And to decode the Intel naming scheme: T=mobile(27-35W), L=low-voltage(15W) and U=ultra-low-voltage(5.5-9W). 1xxx is the Core Solo, 2xxx is the Core Duo (Yonah), 5xxx is the Core 2 Duo (Merom, 2MB), and 7xxx is Core 2 Duo (Merom, 4MB).

I haven't seen a T5200, and I can't find the specs on Intel's website. Do you mean the T5500@1.66GHz?

I should probably also mention that my girlfriend's Toshiba M100 laptop with the T2300 Yonah processor has a battery life of about 4-5 hours, even though it was rated for only 3.5. Make sure that when you choose a laptop, if you go with an L or U-numbered processor that you check the battery life. Sometimes the extremely efficient ones are used for very thin and light designs as apposed to notebooks with 8+ hours battery life. It all depends on what you're looking for.
!