Power Consumption

For all of the performance tests, we disable all power saving technology in order to give us a consistent set of results, and also best-case performance numbers - even though technologies such as Intel's SpeedStep might only take microseconds to kick in, that can make a difference in some tests.

However, for the power consumption tests we re-enable everything in order to get a real-world power draw. The power draw is measured via a power meter at the wall, so the numbers below are of total system power draw from the mains, not the power consumption of a CPU itself. Measuring the power draw of any individual component in a PC is tricky-to-impossible to acheive.

Idle Power Consumption

For this test, we leave the PC doing nothing but displaying the Windows 7 desktop (with Aero enabled) for a few minutes and record the wattage drawn from the wall via a power meter.

Total System Power Consumption (Idle)

  • Intel Core i3-530 (2.93GHz)
  • Intel Core i5-661 (3.33GHz)
  • Intel Core i3-530 (3.5GHz)
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 (3GHz)
  • Intel Core i5-750 (2.66GHz)
  • Intel Core i5-661 (4GHz)
  • AMD Athlon II X4 630 (2.8GHz)
  • Intel Core i5-750 (4.15GHz)
  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 (2.4GHz)
  • AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition (3.4GHz)
  • AMD Athlon II X4 630 (3.71GHz)
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 (4.25GHz)
  • AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition (3.99GHz)
  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 (3.7GHz)
  • 69
  • 71
  • 72
  • 72
  • 74
  • 74
  • 80
  • 81
  • 83
  • 83
  • 86
  • 87
  • 92
  • 113
0
25
50
75
100
125
Watts, lower is better. Blue: stock speed, red: ov

Read the Overclocking page to see how we acheived our overclocks, and the Performance Analysis page for what these results mean.

Load Power Consumption

For this test, we want to only stress the CPU, so use the smallfft stress test of Prime95 to fully load all available processors (logical as well as physical). We leave Aero enabled, and wait a few minutes for any power saving technology to kick in and for the power consumption to level out before taking our reading.

Total System Power Consumption (Load)

Prime95, smallfft test

  • Intel Core i3-530 (2.93GHz)
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 (3GHz)
  • Intel Core i5-661 (3.33GHz)
  • Intel Core i3-530 (3.5GHz)
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 (4.25GHz)
  • Intel Core i5-661 (4GHz)
  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 (2.4GHz)
  • Intel Core i5-750 (2.66GHz)
  • AMD Athlon II X4 630 (2.8GHz)
  • AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition (3.4GHz)
  • AMD Athlon II X4 630 (3.71GHz)
  • Intel Core i5-750 (4.15GHz)
  • AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition (3.99GHz)
  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 (3.7GHz)
  • 106
  • 109
  • 115
  • 133
  • 141
  • 152
  • 160
  • 160
  • 169
  • 207
  • 238
  • 284
  • 302
  • 318
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
350
Watts, lower is better. Blue: stock speed, red: ov

Read the Overclocking page to see how we acheived our overclocks, and the Performance Analysis page for what these results mean.
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