35 AMD CPUs Tested for Power Consumption

Energy consumption of 35 AMD-Processors

The amount of electricity a computer needs is dependent not only on its components, but also the user’s habits. For example, leaving the PC on for 9 hours a day will mean less power use than running it at full capacity 24 hours a day. In the worst case, if AMD’s Cool’n’Quiet energy saving mode does not work, you could end up wasting an amount of electricity sufficient to light up a room.

Old news for Tom’s Hardware readers: the Phenom struggles with high energy loss levels while in standby mode. The power consumption of the chip can reach a value three times higher than that of the Athlon 64 X2, though when under constant load, it can take advantage of its strengths.

We analyzed and measured the energy consumption and electricity costs of 35 different AMD processors. Almost all of the released AM2 line processors were included, like the Phenom and the classic Athlon X2; also here are the “Efficient Energy” processors like the Athlon X2 BE and EE versions. On top of that, the new AMD 4000e series was also tested, and even the Sempron 64 and the old FX-62 were measured.

This test focuses wholly on power consumption. We are not measuring processors alone, but rather complete systems, because motherboard and components have a significant influence on power intake.

An AMD platform machine with a 790FX chipset does not waste much energy. We found that an average AMD PC system will only use about $111 (72 Euros) worth of electricity per year.

  • 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!