Efficiency: Core 2 Nukes Atom On The Desktop

Test Setup and Benchmarks

System Hardware
CPU I Intel Atom 230 (45 nm, 1.6 GHz, 512 KB L2 Cache)
CPU II Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 (45 nm, 2.533 GHz, 3 MB L2 Cache)
Intel Atom Chipset : 945G ECS 945GCT-D, Rev. 1.0

Intel 945G Chipset, BIOS : 080013
Intel Core 2 Chipset : G31 Foxconn G31MG-S, Rev. 1.0

Intel G31 Chipset, BIOS : April 29, 2008
RAM 1x 2 GB DDR2-1066 Crucial CT25664AA1067 operated at DDR2-800 (Core 2) and DDR2-533 (Atom)
HDD Seagate Barracuda 7200.11, 500 GB

7,200 RPM, SATA/300, 32 MB cache
Blu-Ray Drive LG GGW-H20L
Graphics integrated 945G and G31 graphics
Power Supplies Fortron FSP220-60LE, 220 W

Etasis EFN-300, 300 W

Coolermaster, ATX 2.3, 850 W

OCZ Elite Xstream 1000, 1000 W

Please note that we only used a single DDR2 DIMM that ran at DDR2-533 speed with the Atom system and at DDR2-800 for the G31 motherboard. This was the only measure we took to bring the Core 2 Duo’s power consumption from 31 W to only 29 W, which was hence closer to the Atom system’s 28 W. This step makes little sense if you take a performance approach, as the memory bandwidth decreases. But it makes sense considering that many desktop Atom systems don’t even have a second DIMM socket to install more than one memory module.

Further power requirement reductions for our Core 2 Duo E7200 and G31 combo can probably be achieved by optimizing CPU voltage, which would involve “under-voltaging” the processor on suitable motherboards.

System Software&Drivers
Operating System Microsoft Windows XP SP2
DirectX 9 Version : April 2007
Intel Chipset INF :
Java Java Runtime Environment 6.0 Update 1

Benchmarks and Settings

Audio Benchmarks and Settings
Benchmark Details
iTunes Version :
Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 min
Default format AAC
Lame MP3 Version 3.98
Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min
wave to mp3
160 Kbps

Application Benchmarks and Settings
Benchmark Details
Winrar 3.80 Version 3.70 BETA 8
WinZIP Commandline Version 2.3
Compression = Best
Dictionary = 4096 KB
Benchmark : THG-Workload
Winzip 11 Version 11.2
Compression = Best
Benchmark : THG-Workload
Maxon Cinema 4D Release 10 Version : 10.008
Rendering from a scene
(Water drop at a Rose)
Resolution : 1280 x 1024 - 8Bit (50 frames)
Sysmark 2004 SE Version 1.04
Office Productivity

Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings

Benchmark Details
PCMark05 Version : 1.20
PCMark Benchmark
Memories Benchmark
CPU Benchmark
Graphics Benchmark
Windows Media Player