Each processor's power-saving features are enabled at stock and overclocked settings.
Sporting a more efficient Haswell-based Core i3 (and powered by an 80 PLUS Gold supply), last quarter's effort sips power both at idle and under a heavy CPU load. Meanwhile, the Radeon R7 265 in today's cheaper setup consumes far less power in 3D workloads.
Ultimately, both desktops can be considered miserly as far as gaming PCs go, pulling less than 300 W from the wall under full load. Assuming 84-85% efficiency, our Q2 PC, overclocked, requires a little more than 50% of the power supply's rated output when the CPU and GPU are both working as hard as possible.
This might seem counter-intuitive, but many of our thermal readings drop when we take our overclocked measurements. Of course, that's a result of greater chassis air flow, since the fans are spinning at 100%. The natural downside is increased noise.
The only number that increases is CPU temperature under load. Although we're reporting the motherboard’s CPU socket temperature, we used the Athlon's Thermal Margin in OverDrive as our overclocking guide. Under load, AMD's software indicated that we still had a reasonable cushion of 25 degrees Celsius.
- Presenting Our New Budget Gaming PC
- CPU And Cooler
- Motherboard And Memory
- Graphics Card And Hard Drive
- Case, Power Supply, And Optical Drive
- Assembling Our Gaming Box
- Overclocking Our Budget AMD Platform
- How We Tested Our Budget Gaming PC
- Results: Synthetics
- Results: Audio And Video
- Results: Adobe Creative Suite
- Results: Productivity
- Results: Compression
- Results: Arma 3 And Battlefield 4
- Results: Far Cry 3 And Grid 2
- Power Consumption And Temperatures
- Performance Summary
- Can Less Funding Compete For Top Value?