We didn’t have an opportunity to compare the power profiles of Intel’s 65 W Core i3-2100 and AMD’s Trinity-based APUs in our preview stories. However, now we have Core i3-3000-series chips to include instead.
The following chart is a power log of our entire test suite, which is scripted. That long stretch of fairly constant consumption in the middle is our Visual Basic 2010 benchmark, which lasts for almost an hour. Normally we’d have Blender and PCMark 7 as part of this capture, but stability issues on the Trinity-based system forced us to rem them from our batch file.
Here’s where AMD gets hammered. This power chart from June’s Trinity preview showed that, although the new architecture is effectively able to idle at lower power than Llano, it still butts right up to its 100 W thermal ceiling under load. That's a problem because AMD's competition is rated for 55 W.
Now, when we put A10-5800K overclocked, at its stock settings, and undervolted in the same chart as a Core i3-3225, we come away with a couple of different observations.
First, there’s an almost 50 W difference in average system power between the overclocked and undervolted A10-based configurations. That’s a greater-than 43% jump in overall consumption. Did performance increase commensurately? We doubt it, but we’ll get an exact answer on the next page.
Second, Intel’s advantage in manufacturing technology translates directly to its rated thermal design power, and we can see the result of that in an average system power consumption of 80 W. This says nothing of efficiency, of course, which involves a performance component. However, given what we now know about power (and what we saw on the preceding benchmark pages), it’d be almost impossible for AMD to catch up in the applications we’re testing today.