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The $750 Computing Challenge: Germany Versus USA

Power Consumption

This is the major disadvantage for the German system: it may dominate most of the benchmarks, but the results come at a price. The system idle power is almost twice as high on the Core 2 Quad Q6600 paired with the Radeon HD 4870 as it is for the US team’s Core 2 Duo E8500 and Radeon HD 4850. This difference is significant.

The results are similar at peak power conditions: The German system provides more performance, but it requires roughly twice the power to do so.

Average and Total Power for 3DMark Vantage

As a result of the extreme power consumption differences, the average power used during a 3DMark Vantage run was much lower on the US system as well.

This also applies to the total power used to complete a 3DMark Vantage run.

Check out this diagram if you want a visualization of the results. The power consumption level of the German system, running a Core 2 Quad Q6600 and a Radeon HD 4870, is much higher than what we measured for the US system, which is based on a Core 2 Duo E8500 and a Radeon HD 4850. Keep in mind that the power supply also has an impact on total system efficiency.

Average and Total Power for PCMark Vantage

Average and total power required during a PCMark Vantage run show the same outcome.