Phenom II: AMD pulls closer

CPUs|Motherboards
Viewing page 4 of 7 pages. Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next

TEST RESULTS

Power

Before we start, a quick note about our power consumption numbers. The Core i7 test results were generated with a NesteQ power supply, to which we no longer have access. We tested the Phenom II system with an Antec Signature power supply instead. To make power consumption comparisons more accurate, we converted our results to what they would've been if the original NesteQ power supply was used. The efficiency tables generated in our power supply reviews were used to make the conversion.

System Power Consumption (AC)
CPU
QX9650 (3.00GHz)
i7 920 (2.66GHz*)
X4 940 (3.00GHz)
Off
2W
2W
3W
Sleep
3W
5W
3W
Idle
103W
102W
103W
VC-1
~140W
~143W
~150W
CPU Load
(2 cores)
159W
162W
167W
CPU Load
(4 cores)
177W
216W
207W
CPU (4 cores) + GPU Load
302W
341W
330W
CPU loaded with Prime95 for Intel systems and CPUBurn K7 for the AMD system. GPU loaded with FurMark.
*i7 920 overclocked to 2.80GHz due to Turbo Boost Technology.

At first glance it appears Phenom II's power consumption is very close to that of i7. Both idled at just above 100W. The X4 940 used more power during video playback and when 2 cores were stressed, but consumed about 10W less when all 4 cores were put on load. Neither "next-gen" system was as power efficient as the older Intel Core 2 Quad QX9650 though.

Temperature

We initially set up the system with a Xigmatek HDT-SD964 heatsink equipped with a Nexus 92mm fan. It was very quiet, but we noticed the heatsink got very warm during load so we swapped it with the larger ZEROtherm cooler. During load, it was only slightly warm — a huge improvement. According to SpeedFan there was only a 15°C differential in CPU temperature between idle and full load.

As our X4 940 is not a retail sample, we did not receive a stock heatsink. We hope the stock unit turns out to be a hefty one. A quality heatsink with a quiet 92mm doesn't seem quite enough to cool this processor comfortably by our standards.

Performance

Benchmark Results
Test
QX9650
(3.00GHz)
i7 920
(2.66GHz*)
X4 940
(3.00GHz)
Result
System Power
Result
System Power
Result
System Power
NOD32
197s
N/A
210s
N/A
206s
137W
WinRAR
177s
135W
153s
133W
196s
140W
iTunes
189s
128W
209s
136W
291s
147W
TMPGEnc
189s
170W
177s
188W
184s
190W
3DMark06
14077
N/A
15187
N/A
14427
N/A
PCMark05
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
15147
N/A
*i7 920 overclocked to 2.80GHz due to Turbo Boost Technology.

Depending on the benchmark, the X4 940 falls behind the i7 920 in varying degrees. It was slightly faster during our anti-virus scanning test and slightly slower during video encoding. File archiving was significantly slower (28%), and audio encoding was well behind the i7 system (39%). However the i7 920 has Turbo Boost Technology enabled by default, overclocking the processor slightly to 2.8GHz, so it is a bit closer than it looks. The X4 940 system took longer to complete our test suite, and also used more power, drawing a few watts more from the wall during each test.

The Intel Core 2 Quad QX9650 system results are included to give you a sense of how the two platforms compete against a high-end "last-gen" setup. Neither system produces revolutionary performance. The QX9650 traded wins with the i7 920 system depending on the test and also did so with more power efficiency.

Power Efficiency

Timed benchmarks give us an opportunity to analyze power efficiency while keeping performance in mind. Once a task is completed, the system sits idle, and in our case, the three test setups idle using approximately the same amount of power. So how fast the program takes to finish its task and how much power it draws while doing so ultimately determines power efficiency. With that in mind we calculated the watt-hours for each benchmark by multipling the time with the average power consumption during the task.

Benchmark Energy Usage
Test
QX9650
(3.00GHz)
i7 920
(2.66GHz*)
X4 940
(3.00GHz)
WinRAR
6.64 Whr
100%
5.65 Whr
-15%
8.01 Whr
+21%
iTunes
6.72 Whr
100%
7.90 Whr
+17%
11.88 Whr
+77%
TMPGEnc
8.93 Whr
100%
9.24 Whr
+4%
9.73 Whr
+9%
*i7 920 overclocked to 2.80GHz due to Turbo Boost Technology.

The QX9650 system at stock 3GHz clock speed was used as the reference point for each benchmark. The energy consumption of the other systems were scored as needing more (plus %) or less (minus %) energy compared to that used by the stock-clock QX9650 system. The lowest energy consumption is in bold green.

The X4 940 system came very close to the competition but ended using 9% more watt-hours to complete the TMPGEnc video encoding test. The WinRAR file archiving test was less efficient — 21% off the mark established by the QX9650. iTunes audio encoding was dramatically inefficient. It is interesting to note that the X4 excelled both in terms of performance and power efficiency with TMPGEnc, the most demanding, threaded application in our test suite.



Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next

CPUs|Motherboards - Article Index
Help support this site, buy from one of our affiliate retailers!
Search: