Skip to main content

Athlon Vs. Atom: Duel Of The Energy Savers

Conclusion: Athlon 64 Is More Economical, Faster, And Quieter

In our Munich lab’s duel of the energy-savers, the AMD Athlon 64 2000+ beats the Intel Atom 230 in energy consumption and processing power. Each of the systems was based on a desktop platform. The Achilles heel of the Intel system is its old system platform with the 945GC chipset, while AMD offers a more modern 780G platform.

The energy-saving solution from AMD offers more possibilities: it has three times as many SATA ports, possesses better onboard graphics performance, and can also support two monitors. Unlike the Intel solution, an HD resolution (1920x1200) with high picture quality is possible through DVI/HDMI ports. And early information suggests that the AMD Athlon 64 2000+ should cost close to $90.

In terms of noise level, AMD can again beat the Intel solution: in our test the AMD energy-saving platform was able to run without a fan. Due to the high energy consumption of Intel’s chipset, the Atom board requires active cooling for stable and error-free operation.

Although the Athlon 64 2000+ uses more power than Intel’s Atom 230 CPU, the entire system requires less energy both when idle and during full load operation because of the chipset. AMD currently offers the most energy-saving desktop platform on the market, and requirements could be lowered even further if the manufacturer of a 780G board decided to use a single-phase controller with other energy-saving components.

The AMD platform has one disadvantage, however: at present, the 780G chip set is only available on a microATX board, where Intel offers a significantly smaller miniITX board. It would be sensible if AMD also offered very small embedded boards, which would enable the company to widen the gap even further.