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We arrived at our overall performance score by weighing each test equally (each composing 1/6 of the total). Mathematically, a processor that finishes first in every single test would receive a score of 100. The i5-2400 came close, with a score of 99.1 as it was defeated in just one test by the X6 1100T by a small margin.
Thanks to its aggressive Turbo Boost settings, the i5-2400S doesn't fall far behind the i5-2400 in overall speed, and it still managed to fight off AMD's best processors in our test suite. As all desktop Core i3s lack Turbo Boost, the i3-2100T didn't fare nearly as well compared to the i3-2100, about 15% slower in our tests. It is noteworthy, however, that even at 2.5 GHz, it edged out AMD's current fastest dual core CPU, the X2 565. Needless to say, we hope the arrival of Bulldozer will change AMD's fortunes.
The i3-2100T used less power than the i3-2100, but took longer to run through our benchmarks and thus used more power in total. The same can be said of the i5-2400S vs. the i5-2400, though the margin was slimmer as the performance difference was relatively small.
We derived our average system power consumption by assuming that half the time our test system would be on low load (an average of the power consumption when sitting idle and playing H.264 video) and the other half would be spend on heavy load (the average power consumption of our five measured benchmarks). With this usage pattern, the Sandy Bridge processors consume between 50W and 60W, while AMD's best, the X4 840 uses 13~21W more. The i5-2400S is neck-and-neck with the undervolted i5-2400, while the i3-2100T is 5W more efficient on average.
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