Green Machine: AMD Dual-Core Platform at 54W

Athlon 64 EE Processors Cut Down Power Consumption

Manufacturers are moving in droves towards ROHS compliant "green" components, as power consumption continues to put performance computing at odds with environmental consciousness. Indeed, if power supplies topping 1000 W are any indication of things to come, your computer may eventually outstrip the power available from a standard socket!

For businesses with hundreds or even thousands of processors gnawing away at the power grid, this waste translates directly into huge power bills. For the rest of us, the conversion from power to heat makes cooling the primary concern. As this heat overwhelms smaller systems, efficiency becomes the common goal in the otherwise divergent home theater, compact PC and mobile gaming markets. But while desktop implementations of Intel's mobile processors get all the attention from HTPC enthusiasts, and VIA's compact Epia gets shoved into everything from cars to guitars, AMD remains eerily silent in the PC arena.

Nearly every mention of power consumption from AMD is oriented towards servers, an area where reduced operational cost has allowed the company to steal market share away from Intel. With so large a portion of its advertising dollars going into business platform opportunities, many home builders may be surprised to learn that AMD now offers enhanced efficiency (EE) versions of its already efficient Athlon 64 X2 processors.

Even experienced builders might be surprised at the actual power savings. How about 54 W for a full-blown dual-core system with a 10,000 RPM hard drive? AMD's Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Energy Efficient processor makes it possible, using desktop components rather than mobile ones. Have something faster in mind? How about stepping up to an X2 4600+ for only an additional 2 W of system power consumption when idle?

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Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.