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Power Consumption

System Builder Marathon: $625 Gaming PC
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A number of readers have repeatedly requested that we add power-consumption data to the SBMs, and this month we are now able to provide total system power (of just the machine itself) measured from the wall outlet. 

Low-level overclocking with Riva Tuners was quick and easy, but it dramatically raised our idle-power consumption as the high clock speeds were running both in 2D and 3D. When overclocking with CCC, the 2D clocks cycle down to a very low level, so the extra 40 MHz gain that Riva offered compared to CCC did provide some extra FPS in games, but it came at the expense of full-time lower energy efficiency.   

Under load, we see the added power demands that our increased voltages and clock speeds have on system power consumption. 

For SBM performance testing, power-saving features such as CPU Enhanced Halt and CPU EIST Function were both disabled. Also, Gigabyte’s Dynamic Energy Saver Advanced was not installed until all testing was complete, as we did not want any interference when reaching our maximum overclocked speeds. After installing and enabling these utilities, power consumption in idle mode dropped to 89 W while load consumption dropped to a more-impressive 180 W. However, no performance testing was conducted with these settings and we can’t assume there was no loss in performance when enabled.

Display all 76 comments.
  • -5 Hide
    spirto , December 29, 2008 7:07 AM
    once again no amd setup? i thought you said you were going to give us amd users a smb
  • 5 Hide
    DFGum , December 29, 2008 7:54 AM
    Sure they could give a 625 dollar AMD setup, but it just wouldnt be as good at this time so why bother?
    Its always about value at the price points.
  • 2 Hide
    JeanLuc , December 29, 2008 7:58 AM
    What’s the point in an AMD setup when the Intel option gives you better value for money?
  • 0 Hide
    V3NOM , December 29, 2008 8:59 AM
    lol... my e5200 crapped out at 3.7ghz 1.4vcore... someone i know got his e7300 to 4.0ghz at some ridiculous vcore though lol... it really depends on teh chip. some get good VID's, some get bad. some overclock good, some overclock crap, its the natura of binning. naturally e8400's would be binned more than the 5 and 7 series, and the e8500/8600 would be better still.
  • -5 Hide
    Anonymous , December 29, 2008 9:37 AM
    when r u guys gonna write about the nvidia ion platform?!?!?!?!
  • -4 Hide
    zodiacfml , December 29, 2008 11:58 AM
    i wouldn't risk buying an e7300 over an e5200. i have built amd systems, now i'm regretting why i didn't bought pentium dual core which are practically core2duo's with less cache.

    regarding nvidia ion, i think intel is thinking deeply of whether they allow nvidia to Atom since netbooks still sell without it.
  • 0 Hide
    Veesofnaught , December 29, 2008 12:11 PM
    I actually just got done purchasing parts for a new pc that ended up being around that same price. This is my first time building a PC so I'm not sure if I could have done better, but I think it's worth mentioning if anyone is interested in going for a Quad Core instead of the Dual Core.

    Intel Quad Core Q6600
    Asus P5QL Pro Motherboard
    NVidia 9800 GTX
    GSkill 4 Gb Ram
    580 Watt PSU
    Rosewill Mid-Tower
    160 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive
    SATA CD/DVD Burner
  • 3 Hide
    Master Exon , December 29, 2008 1:03 PM
    I guess I will share my for-Christmas build with TH.

    $82 2.5GHz E5200 45nm C2D
    $0 (no CPU cooler)
    $54 ASUS P5KPL-CM
    $34 A-DATA 2x2GB (4GB) DDR2 800
    $200 GeForce 260
    $55 WD 320GB WD3200AAKS
    $0 integrated sound
    $0 integrated network
    $12 Spray painted an old beige case black.
    $67 500W SeaSonic
    $22 LG DVD burner
    $10 card reader

    $526 Total

    I don't see why they didn't shave off $40 for the cheaper CPU
  • 0 Hide
    weinheimer , December 29, 2008 1:32 PM
    That is a nicely configured system at fair pricing
  • 2 Hide
    Roland00 , December 29, 2008 1:36 PM
    I work at frys in the computer department, because of this I weekly check out the ads this is the stuff that are good deals in the computer/components departments
    Prices are good till tommorrow evening (tuesday) at 9 o clock when the store closes. Things are in bold are better deals than listed above.

    Intel Core 2 Duo Processor E7300 & ECS GF7050VT-M Motherboard $99.99
    Patriot 4GB DDR2 PC6400 Dual Memory $49.99 with a 20 dollar rebate
    Antec Three Hundred Ultimate Gamer Case $34.99
    Antec Earthwatts 500W Power Supply $49.99
    Seagate 1.5TB Serial ATA/300 Hard Drive $129.99

    Also good deals
    crucial 4GB DDR2 PC8500 Dual Memory $47.99 $35.99 after rebate
    crucial 2GB DDR2 PC6400 Dual Memory $19.99

    I am just mad that I didn't get the e8500 + crappy motherboard for 134.99 that they had last week.
    note for 99 dollars this is the e7300 not the e7200 the new chip with the higher multipler and is more likely to be a higher bin sort.
  • 2 Hide
    Roland00 , December 29, 2008 1:42 PM
    Quote:
    i wouldn't risk buying an e7300 over an e5200. i have built amd systems, now i'm regretting why i didn't bought pentium
    dual core which are practically core2duo's with less cache.

    Their is no practically about it, Pentium Dual Cores (unlike Pentium Ds also known as netburst) are the same architecture as Intel Core 2 Duos. They are even made on the same wafer as the high end e8600s. Only difference is not all their cache worked perfectly and/or they didn't go as high as frequencies so they were binsorted into dual cores. Finally intel deactivated the cache that may have worked fine/or may not have worked fine and set the multipler to 12.5 and the bus speed at 200mhz.
  • 3 Hide
    jamesl , December 29, 2008 1:52 PM
    Master ExonI guess I will share my for-Christmas build with TH.
    $82 2.5GHz E5200 45nm C2D ...
    ...
    I don't see why they didn't shave off $40 for the cheaper CPU

    because that's the cpu they used last month and they wanted to try something different this time, something more powerful.
    as they said in the article, it didn't work out the way they hoped and they won't be using it again
  • 0 Hide
    jestersage , December 29, 2008 2:02 PM
    Very nice. I would like to see them squeeze in a PhenomII next time... Wonder if they could have squeezed in the CF 4830s (or CF 1GB 4670s?) if they kept the e5200 and changed the mobo to the Asrock P45 that was reviewed by TH last week.

    Lastly, I think the rig can still be overclocked further while keeping the same voltages - if only TH had time to play with the clock skews.
  • 2 Hide
    caamsa , December 29, 2008 2:09 PM
    For us AMD "fanboys" click the link and read.

    http://www.anandtech.com/guides/showdoc.aspx?i=3486
  • 2 Hide
    bounty , December 29, 2008 2:27 PM
    If you guys had stability problems at 3.6 and 3.8 (at almost 1.5v) and had programs wipe things out to the point that you had to re-install the OS I'm guessing you benched at a non-stable OC (long term). I think you need a do-over at 3.5 otherwise it's not helpful. We wouldn't run our systems that unstable, and the other sbm's you built are/were stable.

    You could give the 7300 another shake next month to check if you just had an unlucky CPU, or the 5200 to see if it was just lucky etc. I just built a 5200 + GA-EP43-DS3L for a friend that went to 3.6 on stock cooling and 1.3625v easily.
  • -3 Hide
    Pei-chen , December 29, 2008 2:30 PM
    spirtoonce again no amd setup? i thought you said you were going to give us amd users a smb

    No one is telling you to go AMD for $625 so why should you? The best bang for the buck at $625 is an Intel system.

    BTW, a quad core is needed to play GTA4.
  • 2 Hide
    caamsa , December 29, 2008 2:37 PM
    GTA4

    Operating System: Windows XP SP2
    Processor: Dual core processor (Intel Pentium D or better)
    RAM: 2GB
    Hard Drive: 18GB free hard disk space
    Video Card: 512MB Direct3D 10 compatible video card or Direct3D 9 card compatible with Shader
    Drive: DVD-ROM dual-layer drive
  • 1 Hide
    Pei-chen , December 29, 2008 2:45 PM
    caamsaGTA4Operating System: Windows XP SP2 Processor: Dual core processor (Intel Pentium D or better) RAM: 2GB Hard Drive: 18GB free hard disk space Video Card: 512MB Direct3D 10 compatible video card or Direct3D 9 card compatible with Shader Drive: DVD-ROM dual-layer drive

    I have the game and it is very CPU bounded. The recommended spec is a joke as a system with P4D + 8600GT simply couldn’t play the game.
  • 6 Hide
    scurvywombat , December 29, 2008 2:51 PM
    I would've liked to see an AMD system, but it makes sense that it's not here. Tt this price point it gets pretty competitive between the two, I can understand why Tom's went with the 7300 - overclocking. The new 7750 from AMD looks pretty good, especially when the Egg has it for 75$, though most people are getting 3.2 out of it, maybe a few with 3.4
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