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High performance; Low Power

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June 2, 2011 11:59:15 AM

I live off grid and we generate our own power, so low power consumption is important. At present, I have a desktop with the following:

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 @ 2.67MHz
MB: Intel D975XBX
RAM: 8GB DDR2-SDRAM (Corsair CM2X2048-6400C5DHX x 4)
Video: NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT
PSU: SeaSonic SS550 HT

I'm thinking of upgrading to get better performance, but it's hard to get good power consumption figures.

I am wondering if the 2nd generation Intel I7 processors, with built-in video, would give me better performance with lower power consumption, as I could possibly do away with a video card.

I know I can also get improvement by using SSD's instead of spinning HDD, but that price is too high so far.

Thank you.

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June 2, 2011 12:05:21 PM
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if your looking for a very low power consumption PC, you should look at the amd E-350 varients, they only have a max tdp of 18W compared to the usual 95W/125W power consumption of the i7s and phenom IIs, and also has an integrated Radeon 6310 GPU.

another great option would be the i5-2500K which has an integrated HD3000 GPU and underclocks to 1.6 Ghz when not under heavy load using intel speedstep technology. the 2500K will be a great upgrade giving performance, i5-2500K vs your current E6700:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/288?vs=60

although the E-350 is a great low-power APU, it will be a downgrade over your current E6700.
June 2, 2011 1:30:33 PM

ps3hacker12 said:
another great option would be the i5-2500K which has an integrated HD3000 GPU and underclocks to 1.6 Ghz when not under heavy load using intel speedstep technology. the 2500K will be a great upgrade giving performance, i5-2500K vs your current E6700:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/288?vs=60

although the E-350 is a great low-power APU, it will be a downgrade over your current E6700.


I do want to upgrade performance, so I'll take a close look at the i5-2500K. Thank you.
Related resources
June 2, 2011 1:38:58 PM

Hello ron_R;
Have you thought about a laptop? You could get something that has quite a bit more performance than your current C2D and uses quite a bit less power as well.

What type of applications are you running. And what is it about your current system aren't you happy with?
June 2, 2011 1:45:09 PM

Passmark CPU benchmark scores:
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_list.php
Intel Core2 Duo E6700 @ 2.66GHz = 1653
Intel Core i7-2630QM @ 2.00GHz = 6257 <- Laptop quad core Sandy Bridge
Intel Core i5-2500K @ 3.30GHz = 7045 <- Desktop quad core Sandy Bridge
June 2, 2011 5:22:39 PM

WR2 said:
Hello ron_R;
Have you thought about a laptop? You could get something that has quite a bit more performance than your current C2D and uses quite a bit less power as well.


I have thought about and rejected using a laptop. Probably because I'm more used to building desktops, and having the flexibility that is inherent in upgrading them; re-using components; customizing video setups; etc. I prefer typing on a small keyboard, than the keyboard part of a laptop.

If I had to, I could get used to it, but I don't have to.

In addition to office type stuff and internet access, I also use my computer for investing; running various financial models; running trading models; and occasional game playing. I've done some photo and video editing but, at present, that is only a minor use.

I'd like my computer to startup more quickly, and run some of the longer computational problems more quickly. I know I can get the increased speed by using an SSD C: drive (which I did on another build). But in starting to think about it, I want to also optimize my hardware, and consider upgrading my MB to one that is currently supported by Intel.

My "other" computer, which is at a house that has grid-power, so no constraints on useage, draws a bit over 5kWh/day; this one draws less than1/2 that amount, and I'd like to keep it that way.
June 4, 2011 9:10:50 PM

ps3hacker12 said:
another great option would be the i5-2500K which has an integrated HD3000 GPU and underclocks to 1.6 Ghz when not under heavy load using intel speedstep technology. the 2500K will be a great upgrade giving performance, i5-2500K vs your current E6700:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/288?vs=60


Thank you for that very useful site

The site you recommended shows the operating comparison clearly between the two CPU's. But I couldn't find a comparison with regard to power consumption of the i5-2500K vs my E6700 with the video card. It does show power consumption for the i5 chip, but I couldn't find anything for the E6700

Any thoughts?

Also, am I correct in assuming that with the i5-2500K, I would not require a video card?

Thanks.
June 4, 2011 10:16:49 PM

ron_R said:
Thank you for that very useful site

The site you recommended shows the operating comparison clearly between the two CPU's. But I couldn't find a comparison with regard to power consumption of the i5-2500K vs my E6700 with the video card. It does show power consumption for the i5 chip, but I couldn't find anything for the E6700

Any thoughts?

Also, am I correct in assuming that with the i5-2500K, I would not require a video card?

Thanks.


if your looking to do heavy gaming, then you would need a dedicated graphics card. but for just general low-end gaming, HD videos etc. the HD3000 will be more than enough (you wont need a discrete card). you can also use the 7600GT from your last PC in this PC.
June 5, 2011 1:28:45 AM

Best answer selected by ron_R.
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