AMD FX: Energy Efficiency Compared To Eight Other CPUs

Intel CPUs: Core i7-870, Core i7-975 Extreme, Core i7-980X Extreme, And Core i7-2600K

The Core i7 brand is used to label multiple different processor line-ups. Although there are dual-core mobile Core i7s available, on the desktop, a Core i7 is going to be a four- or six-core chip.

The Core i7-870 processor is based on the 45 nm Lynnfield architecture and has four cores, but can execute eight threads in parallel thanks to Hyper-Threading support. The architecture is similar to the Core i5-750, but the base clock is higher, there's more Turbo Boost headroom, and the Core i5s don't come with Hyper-Threading. Also, Lynnfield never got AES-NI functionality. You can find details about this CPU in the article Intel Core i5 And Core i7: Intel’s Mainstream Magnum Opus.

The Core i7-975 Extreme Edition centers on the 45 nm Bloomfield design (the very first Nehalem-based chip to emerge back in 2008). This particular model was launched in 2009, features four cores, 8 MB of shared L3 cache, and a clock rate that scales up to 3.6 GHz in single-threaded apps (and a base 3.3 GHz frequency).

Due to its age, this CPU lacks features like Trusted Execution, VT-d, and AES-NI, however. More details can be found in Intel Core i7-975 Extreme And i7-950 Reviewed

The Core i7-980X Extreme Edition, code-named Gulftown, is the second-fastest processor in Intel's line-up, behind the Core i7-990X. It is manufactured using a 32 nm process, and sports six cores with a total of 12 MB shared L3 cache. Very shortly, the entire Gulftown family will be displaced by the hexa-core Sandy Bridge-E design, sporting an integrated quad-channel DDR3 memory controller and 15 MB of shared L3 cache.

The article Intel Core i7-980X Extreme: Hello, Six-Core Computing presents details of the Gulftown CPU.

Last but not least is Intel's Core i7-2600K. This is another modern processor, based on the Sandy Bridge design. In contrast to Core i5-2500K, its four cores support Hyper-Threading. A base clock of 3.4 GHz accelerates up to 3.8 GHz In single-threaded applications. Our article Intel’s Second-Gen Core CPUs: The Sandy Bridge Review breaks down the details of this CPU's architecture.

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  • compton
    The low idle and load power consumption numbers of the SB K series are why I love them so much. Less power = less heat and noise, and SB is certainly worth it for me. BD, on the other hand, is just a strange bird. Someone out there could probably find a way to leverage it successfully, and that one person is going to be very happy. Maybe Bulldozer makes a lot more sense in its server configurations -- but I really wish AMD had just given the Phenom II a slight dust-off and die shrink. Everyone was pulling for AMD to do something great with BD, and the efficiency results are just abysmal. If you got great performance, but dis-proportionally high power consumption, that would be okay as well. With BD, you get the worst of both world, and not much of a saving grace. Perhaps Trinity will do something with this albatross that is BD and make it respectable, because the efficiency comparison is embarrasing.
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  • tacoslave
    everytime i read a BD article i die a little inside. Plus what we all knew would happen already started Intel already raised the K series prices a couple bucks.
    24
  • compton
    Geez, the 2700K is creeping up on $400. Thanks a lot AMD. You're off my Christmas list.
    21
  • Other Comments
  • compton
    The low idle and load power consumption numbers of the SB K series are why I love them so much. Less power = less heat and noise, and SB is certainly worth it for me. BD, on the other hand, is just a strange bird. Someone out there could probably find a way to leverage it successfully, and that one person is going to be very happy. Maybe Bulldozer makes a lot more sense in its server configurations -- but I really wish AMD had just given the Phenom II a slight dust-off and die shrink. Everyone was pulling for AMD to do something great with BD, and the efficiency results are just abysmal. If you got great performance, but dis-proportionally high power consumption, that would be okay as well. With BD, you get the worst of both world, and not much of a saving grace. Perhaps Trinity will do something with this albatross that is BD and make it respectable, because the efficiency comparison is embarrasing.
    29
  • de5_Roy
    thank you tom's. this kind of article (performance-efficiency analysis) is one of my favorites. i've been waiting eagerly for an article like this from reviewer sites, tom's beat everyone else. :D
    the benchmarks with real world softwares(and not some specialized highly threaded synthetic benchmark that gives biased results) are the ones that matter to me. i use some of the softwares occassionally (blender), some more frequently (winrar, 7zip, lame encoder) and this article helped me a lot when i choose my next pc.
    did you guys see the ridiculous tdp number on cpu-z screenshot of fx8150? 223 w what the !@#$. i wonder which one got it wrong, amd or cpu-z.
    amd-fans-in-denial can argue as much as they want, but the reality didn't change. the efficiency numbers pretty much mirrored the bd review - bd isnt power efficient. even the ph ii 980 - the most power hungry of phenoms is more power efficient than fx 8150. and people who don't care about power consumption should care about the cooling and maintenance bd would need along with a power hungry high performance gfx card. imagine running an air-cooled fx 8150 @ 4.7 ghz with nvidia gtx 580 or radeon hd 6990.
    i can use any kind of acronyms like 'lol' or 'lmao' on bd's laughable power efficiency(even lynnfield beat it!) and performance but i am really sad and disappointed.
    if amd can't compete with intel, intel will keep selling their cpu at a high(and higher) price - avg users like me will be the loser.
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  • tacoslave
    everytime i read a BD article i die a little inside. Plus what we all knew would happen already started Intel already raised the K series prices a couple bucks.
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  • compton
    Geez, the 2700K is creeping up on $400. Thanks a lot AMD. You're off my Christmas list.
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  • dragonsqrrl
    comptonGeez, the 2700K is creeping up on $400. Thanks a lot AMD. You're off my Christmas list.

    Ya, the MSRP is $332, but the price on newegg is $370. Even for a brand new processor that's a huge premium over MSRP. It'll stabilize to the $330 price range eventually, but this initial price hike is no doubt related to the Bulldozer launch.
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  • de5_Roy
    @compton: phenom might get a die shrink with the llano upgrade. according to the latest trinity leak, llano's new 'husky' core will feature a phenom ii class cpu with amd 6xxx class gpu. this is just a rumor though.
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  • soccerdocks
    Thank you very much for including Matlab in the benchmarks. Its a really informative benchmark for those in engineering.
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  • Anonymous
    "Everyone was pulling for AMD to do something great with BD, and the efficiency results are just abysmal."

    Not really, for the most time everyone was aware that BD was not going to be a SB killer, AMD themselves had hinted at it, then their PR department (propaganda office I would say) started pumping up the hype.
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  • amk-aka-Phantom
    And this is exactly why AMD fanboys should STFU about Bulldozer being an "excellent server CPU". You don't want high power consumption on a server.
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  • amk-aka-Phantom
    dragonsqrrlYa, the MSRP is $332, but the price on newegg is $370. Even for a brand new processor that's a huge premium over MSRP. It'll stabilize to the $330 price range eventually, but this initial price hike is no doubt related to the Bulldozer launch.


    2700K is BS... 100MHz extra is definitely not worth it. 2600K and 2500K remain best bang for buck right now.
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  • silverblue
    de5_roy@compton: phenom might get a die shrink with the llano upgrade. according to the latest trinity leak, llano's new 'husky' core will feature a phenom ii class cpu with amd 6xxx class gpu. this is just a rumor though.

    But that's what Llano actually is - four Husky cores and a 6xxx GPU. I'm not sure what you're getting at.

    amk-aka-phantomAnd this is exactly why AMD fanboys should STFU about Bulldozer being an "excellent server CPU". You don't want high power consumption on a server.


    And you don't know if AMD purposefully binned better quality chips for the server market. I admit, it's an assumption, but a reasonable one, wouldn't you say? Let's wait for the reviews and see.

    I'm liking the article, but considering all the comments about the ASUS board being power hungry, plus the touted motherboard round up, I'm finding it strange that you'd use the CVF again. Still, good article, thanks very much. :)
    -5
  • 4745454b
    Company may say its coming, but I don't think there is much they can do about IPC. Pipeline too long, latencies to the cache are too high, and it might be to light on the floating point power. Only a chip redesign will fix those issues.
    1
  • Martell1977
    And yet the 8120 and 8150 are both sold out or out of stock on Newegg. I guess there are alot of people who don't care for power and effeciency as long as it has the AMD tag.

    Interesting article I'll stick with my I7-950 for a while. Was on a P4 and skipped over 3-4 proc generations before needed to upgrade. Hoping to get the same longevity from my 950 as well.
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  • The Greater Good
    Quote:
    We'd argue that no desktop machine runs at full throttle 24x7, making idle behavior incredibly important, too.


    As far as the average user goes, yes. This is correct. I run BOINC so my desktop is always at 100% CPU load 24/7 365; 4 cores/8 threads always maxed.
    3
  • de5_Roy
    Anonymous said:
    But that's what Llano actually is - four Husky cores and a 6xxx GPU. I'm not sure what you're getting at.


    And you don't know if AMD purposefully binned better quality chips for the server market. I admit, it's an assumption, but a reasonable one, wouldn't you say? Let's wait for the reviews and see.

    I'm liking the article, but considering all the comments about the ASUS board being power hungry, plus the touted motherboard round up, I'm finding it strange that you'd use the CVF again. Still, good article, thanks very much. :)

    you're right. i mixed up amd's naming schemes and thought llano was made of athlon class 'stars' cores with radeon 'sumo' 6xxx igp. i missed that the whole thing was called a husky core.

    kitguru did a power consumption comparison with a gigabyte 990fx board. they also compared how much power fx 8150 and others use at the same oc speed. the results are not different, it was the fx 8150 that was power hungry.
    1
  • silverblue
    http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1285/pg15/amd-fx-8150-black-edition-8-core-processor-vs-core-i7-2600k-review-power-temps-overclocking.html

    I would have to agree on that basis; 68 more watts for the 8150 under full load as compared to the 2600K at default clocks. I was hoping for a bit of good news on that front, but sadly it's not to be. I'd like to see more as regards disabling every even numbered core (and what it does to power), however buying an octo-core to use it as a quad-core is somewhat, well, counter-productive.

    On another topic, I find it amusing that AMD went from an anaemic 2MB L3 cache in Phenom to 6MB with Phenom II, yet with no L3 cache, Llano is noticeably faster than Phenom - is it memory related? Just ignore SYSMark 2007 (hell, if you compare the 8150 with the Core2 Extreme QX9770, the latter wins...).

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/403?vs=21
    0
  • Quaddro
    FAIL..
    3
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    Anonymous said:
    Just ignore SYSMark 2007 (hell, if you compare the 8150 with the Core2 Extreme QX9770, the latter wins...). http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/403?vs=21


    :lol: AMD fanboys are so hilarious. Just ignore all benchmarks where Bulldozer loses... Core 2 Quad Extreme QX9770 was an extremely powerful CPU targeted at multimedia production; I can easily believe it beating Bulldozer in certain tasks. It is not an error.

    Quote:
    And you don't know if AMD purposefully binned better quality chips for the server market. I admit, it's an assumption, but a reasonable one, wouldn't you say? Let's wait for the reviews and see.


    Ummm.... wtf do you mean "AMD purposefully binned better quality chips for the server market"? So you mean, the Bulldozers that will make it to the servers will SUDDENLY have much lower power draw? Yeah, right.

    There's a separate Bulldozer server line which came before FX series. FX series was NOT meant to be a server chip. It was made for gaming and failed in that area. The only area where it might be useful is the workstation. BD scores top benchmarks in Photoshop - it will be great for a light Photoshop user (a heavy user who earns money with Photoshop will just get a Xeon). It also falls in between 2500/K and 2600/K in some other multimedia creation software, both price- and performance-wise. That's where these chips must logically end up.

    Well, at least good to see that the fanboys have settled down with their "patches" and "fixes" that are allegedly supposed to set BD's performance straight...
    -4
  • iam2thecrowe
    didn't we already know it was a power hog and no faster overall than a phenom x6? I dont believe the server chip will be a lot better. It might be a bit more power conservative due to lower clock speeds, but it will still perform no better than a phenom x6. So you pay more and get less...oh wait, you get the adjustable TDP cap crap, which just lowers its performance in return of power savings.
    2
  • vitornob
    In the single-thread page, wouldn't be more precise to separate the generations?
    It would be like this:

    - Fx-8150 uses about 40% more power, measured in watt-hours than 1st core gen.

    - FX-8150 uses about 164% more power, measured in watt-hours than 2nd core gen.

    - FX-8150 uses about 11% more power, measured in watt-hours than AMD last generation.
    6