Low-Power Face-Off: AMD's Athlon X2 Vs. Intel's Core 2 Duo

System Power Consumption

The idle power of 37 W is indeed a great result, as only the Core 2 Duo E7200 system manages to show slightly lower idle power requirements. The Athlon 64 X2 5400+ Black Edition is not too far away, but clearly requires more power even when idle—even the powerful Intel quad-core chips stay below this power requirement when they are idle. The difference is 4 W here. Keep in mind that we used an extremely efficient 220 W power supply; using a standard model in the 300-500 W range would increase these numbers by a few watts due to decreasing efficiency on the power supply side.

The peak power consumption is different. The low-power Athlon X2 5050e stays at a maximum of 85 W, which is close to the maximum power consumption of Intel’s Core 2 Duo E8600. The Intel quad-core CPUs showed higher maximum power, and we found it interesting to see that the Athlon 64 X2 5400+ BE showed the same peak power as the Core 2 Quad Q9550s. If you recall the performance results, where the Intel processors are extremely dominant, you may wonder what the efficiency will be like.