Does Intel's Dual-Core Atom Improve Efficiency?

Minimum, Average, Peak Power

Minimum, Average, Peak Power during PCMark05

Idle power is very much the same: it’s 28 W for the Atom 230 or 29 W for the other solutions. We have to emphasize again that it’s impressive to see the Core 2 machine reach the same idle power as the self-declared low-power Atom.

The average power requirement during PCMark05 is of course much higher on the Core 2 Duo E7200 (43.8 W), and somewhat higher on the other systems (31.3 to 33.5 W). We found the lowest power requirements on the single core Atom 230, followed by the dual core Atom 330. HyperThreading has a bit of an impact on average power.

Minimum, Average, Peak Power during SYSmark 2004 SE

Again, minimum power was 28 W in the case of the Atom 230 single core and 29 W for all the other machines.

The average power requirement for SYSmark 2004 SE was a bit different than for PCMark05, though. While the Atom 230 stays at only 30 W, the Atom 330 dual core required an average of 32 W without HyperThreading, and 33 W with this feature enabled. The Core 2 Duo was only one watt behind at 34 W, which is impressive.

Things change when looking at peak power: the Core 2 machine required up to 54 W here, whereas the Atoms stayed well below 40 W. However, keep in mind that the Core 2 system can provide up to several times the performance if needed, and it will stay at peak power for a much shorter time than any Atom system, which will take longer for each and every workload.