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System Builder Marathon, Dec. 2011: $600 Gaming PC

Power Consumption And Temperatures

Power Consumption

Both of these systems are powered by Antec EarthWatts 430 W units with 80 PLUS Bronze efficiency ratings, and we test them with their respective power saving features enabled.

In order to reach our overclocking ambitions, however, we had to disable Cool’n’Quiet on the September PC.

September’s overclocking efforts yielded a considerable amount of extra performance from the Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition at the cost of very little added power consumption. Even still, the Core i5's power use is miserly in comparison.

The performance of Intel’s bundled cooler does not look nearly as impressive as AMD’s heat pipe-equipped solution, even though it dissipates a lot less heat from the 32 nm Sandy Bridge processor.

Intel's advantage is that its processor fan is practically inaudible outside the enclosure, rotating at less than one-third the speed of AMD’s 6000+ RPM screamer (which is decidedly audible).