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Power Consumption

System Builder Marathon: The $5,000 Extreme PC

A few of our articles have shown that lowering a system’s operating temperature can increase its efficiency, but we weren’t really ready for the chart below:

At 4.00 GHz with air cooling, our December Core i7 920 processor ran disturbingly hot, averaging around 90° Celsius at full load. With the help of liquid cooling, our Core i7 965 ran approximately 10° cooler at 4.20 GHz, in spite of a higher core voltage that made it produce more heat. Even with its quad-SLI graphics, our $5,000 PC often used less power than our $2,500 PC did when both were overclocked.

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