Thanks Mike, I don’t remember reading a more stimulating article on this topic. Hats off to you for having the patience to pull it all together.
It’s left me with a number of ideas for future articles and one burning curiosity with regard the current test. I’m wondering what the A/C draw of the various systems would be if you were to install the Aopen 6600 graphics card into all the systems that used integrated graphics. That would give an indication of how power hungry the various IGPs are and give the opportunity to estimate more accurately a baseline figure for the Core Duo system when using an IGP.
I know that this article was looking at CPU power draw, but with all but one of the systems using an IGP it was screaming out to me to add a dedicated GPU to the mix for comparison. Of course the temptation then, at least for me, would be to add the entry level nVidia 6200 and ATI equivalent and compare those as well.
I say this because with CPU performance per watt and maximum power consumption both improving; it seems to me that overall system power draw is becoming more important especially if you’re looking to build smaller form factor systems a la Apple.
Towards the end of the year when the Conroe/Merom/AM2 and possibly Turion X2 desktop platforms are available, I’d be interested to look at these from an overall platform power consumption perspective. I’m not sure if Turion X2 will be available on the desktop due to using a unique socket design!
What I’m suggesting is to focus more on the different motherboard chipsets and IGP versus entry level GPUs for these different platforms, using the slowest and lowest power CPUs for each platform as a baseline for each of them. If you added one of the higher end CPUs for each platform to the mix, that would give the opportunity to compare those and also extrapolate the power consumption of mid range CPUs also.
With the variance in power consumption between even CPUs of the same model number and also I assume of motherboards from different manufactures using the same chipset, this can only be an indicative assessment; but it’s not one that I’ve seen anyone attempt. If there’s one place that I’d like to see this attempted it would be here, due to your attention to detail which I really respect. God is in the details as somebody said
This may seem a daunting project but I don’t think that it’s that much more time consuming than the one you’ve just completed. Comparing the graphic cards power consumptions at idle is fairly trivial for example.
It’s got me thinking that maybe SPCR readers might be able to contribute to such a large project if necessary; either by lending components or by sponsoring it via a small financial contribution. I say this because I get the impression that many people would like to see a particular combination of hardware included in a group test and being able to actively support that might be appreciated by those willing to walk their talk. Of course, this kind of communal interaction might not be something that appeals to you as it would undoubtedly take more of your time. It’s an idea that fascinates me and I’m curious to see whether people feel that this is practical at all.
I noticed that the Asus S939 board shows all CPUs as idling at 1.18/1.19V as opposed to the 1.10V that I would expect. Is this due to the MB adding extra voltage by default?
In the Turion versus A64 table at the top of page 7, the last entry for the X2 3800+ seems off when you look at many of the figures.