Live Stress Test Rundown: AMD vs. Intel

Energy Consumption: Intel Needs 30 Percent More Juice

The gulf separating the AMD and Intel platforms in their use of power is nowhere clearer than during simple operation of the Windows user interface: The Intel system consumes 13 percent more power than AMD. This rises to up to 30 percent when both systems are running under full load. This once again demonstrates just how power-hungry Intel's processors are, which can be traced back to their much higher clock speeds.

Suitability In Practice: AMD Plainly For Gaming Fans

If you're looking for a high-performance system for 3D games, you could do no better than to go with the AMD system. In particular, it does not create problems in the SLI setup with the nForce4 SLI chipset. The extra performance produced by the increased frame rate makes itself noticeable above all in mainstream 3D games.

The downside of the Intel system is the automatic deactivation of SLI mode when using the 955X chipset from Intel - the NVIDIA graphics driver is the guilty party here.

Buying Tips: AMD More Efficient

So what should you be buying if you're about to shell out a large sum of money for one of the top systems? In the business sector, an Intel system would be the better choice, especially considering the better availability and service offered by partners and solution providers. As far as power goes, Intel is an inefficient energy-guzzler with up to 30 percent more power consumption than the AMD system.

For enthusiasts, meanwhile, the choice is clear: The Athlon 64 X2 system has the best performance when running individual power-hungry applications and shines with exemplary stability. Generally, the same cannot be said for the Intel system: it only worked without a problem with boards with an Intel chipset - the nForce4 SLI setup for the Intel platform still causes difficulties.