Dual-Core Versus Quad-Core: Part 2

Efficiency: Crysis Test

We ran the Crysis CPU benchmark 2 and tracked the average power consumption during its progress. The AMD quad core and Intel’s dual core system were very close in this test.

However, since the Intel processor provided much better gaming performance, the performance per watt ratio—which we express at frames per watt in Crysis—looks much better for the Core 2 Duo E8500 than it does for the Phenom X4 9350e. Intel provides 0.28 frames per watt while the AMD system only reaches 0.17.

We tracked the power required for our benchmark scenario, which consists of running the Crysis CPU benchmark 2 three times. The benchmark takes roughly one minute to load on the Intel system, and about two minutes on the AMD quad core. Then you can see that the benchmark repeats three times, and the maximum power requirement is more or less the same on both systems, although the Intel machine requires more power on average. However, it finishes the three benchmark cycles within a bit more than four minutes due to the faster performance, which means that the total power used for this is much less than on the AMD system, which requires seven minutes to finish the workload.

Although this doesn’t reflect gaming behavior—where you’d also have idle time when you’re waiting for something—it clearly shows that the Intel system provides more performance, and only wins the efficiency test by finishing earlier. In regular gaming scenarios, you can be sure that both machines would require similar average power, if only because the TDP of 65 W limits the processors to this value.