35 AMD CPUs Tested for Power Consumption

Phenom, Efficient at Full Capacity

The Phenom’s energy consumption during standby is disappointing: it uses twice as much energy as the Dual-Core Athlon 64. An average user switching from one of the fastest Athlon 64 processors to the Phenom won’t notice a difference in power costs, though.

When fully loaded, compared to the Athlon 64, the Phenom’s performance-energy intake ratio is better. That is, if programs made for four core processors are being used.

The Sempron 64 is an absolute energy saver when used at full capacity. The Athlon X2 BE processor remains unchallenged at the top when it comes to standby in Cool’n’Quiet mode. The 4000e series Athlon X2 processors can’t keep up with the savings that the Athlon X2 BE processors offer.

In the event that Cool’n’Quiet mode cannot be turned on, the Athlon X2 BE and the Sempron 64 suffer only minor losses. The classic Athlon 64 X2 will, in the worst case, lose about as much electricity as it takes to light up a room.

For HTPC and multimedia computers that save energy, we recommend a dual-core processor from the Athlon X2 BE line, or one of the new 4000e series Athlon X2 processors. If the computer is left on all the time, about $231.00 (150 Euros) per year in electrical costs can be expected.

When it comes to energy consumption, the K9A2 Platinum motherboard with the 790 FX chipset from MSI is superior to Asus and Gigabyte. We recommend the MSI K9A2 Platinum motherboard for users who want to take advantage of the energy intake of an AMD system while using the 790FX.

  • Excellent article! It would be nice to see similar article for Intel processors because even if they are less power hungry, the Intel chipsets are not the "greenest". I am just considering a 24/7 home server and this information is very useful for me. Thank you!
  • Good article! You have the wrong processor name listed for the 2.10 GHz G1 Brisbane as "Athlon 64 X2 4800+ EE". It should be 4000+. I was a bit confused when I read the performance charts and noticed two 4800+ listed until I realized the mistake.
  • zenmaster
    I was glad to see you got some of the new 45w AMD Chips in there.
  • xoham
    Intel is not the greenest if it is less power hungry? Do they not meet RoHS standard or something?
  • zenmaster
    He said the "Intel Chipsets" are not the greenest.
    The are still built on the 90nm process.

    The P45 will introduce the 65nm process on the chipsets.
    The latest AMD Chipsets use the 55nm process.

    In regards to CPUs, The Intel CPUs generally use less than the AMD CPUs.
    He was simply pointing out that the CPUs lose some of the benefeit of their low power consumption due to the chipset.

    For lower-end chips sitting idle, the difference in power usage of the chipsets can be significant. If you are looking at a higher-end chip under load, the power usage of the chipset becomes nominal.
  • einheriar
    besides that intel still has the memory controller as a separate chip on the motherboard, where as amd has that included on the chip.. therefor a higher chip power use might be offset by the absence of the external memory controller, which would become visible when idling ..
  • so my x2 4000 ee (in tables interpreted as one of 4800's - due mistake) isn't so bad after all, I don't care about 2w/hour, when I have 24" lcd :-)
  • Mathos
    The extra power consumption on the Phenom is due to the fact that the NB/IMC voltage stays at 1.250v even when the rest of the processor is running in standby. Kinda of annoying that they put it that high, since with a bios that still has the p-states section you can easily under volt the IMC without losing stability, especially at stock speeds. That will cut down on the idle and load power usages drastically.
  • royalcrown
    I like how review site all push efficiency now since AMD can't really compete on performance. Yawn.
  • jprevost
    Bravo for a great technical article. I can't tell you guys how nice it is to see some great charts. Charts are good, and you guys are good at charts, just don't stop adding to them!