I am wondering how the core i3 will compare to AMD's Athlon II 235e and 240e. They are 45w chips. Not as fast as i3 I'm sure, but fast enough. Even for gaming they will be very competent. I expect the AMD setup will be a good chunk of money cheaper. Once you add up the extra for CPU, motherboard, upgradability, and probably a new cooler (damn you Intel, what's wrong with LGA 775 mounting holes???). But I'm interested to know which will have lower power consumption.
A post I made elsewhere recently:
- AMD AthlonII X2 240e (dualcore 2.8 ghz, 2mb cache - 45W TDP)
- MSI 785GN-E65 motherboard
- 4gb DDR3-1333 (2 sticks)
- Seagate 500gb Momentus 5400rpm
- Samsung DVD/CD writer
- Zalman 7000cu heatsink/fan set to <5V
- Antec NSK1480 w/ its own PSU (80+ but not very efficient at these low power levels), modded w/ quieter fan.
Between the CPU and the motherboard, the price is probably at least $150 cheaper than i5-661 platform. All BIOS settings are pretty much on auto or default; no voltage tweaking at all. Of course it is running CoolnQuiet, on Windows 7 ultimate - 64bit. The system is just barely audible from watching chair 8' away, but totally broadband, no tonality. As soon as TV sound is turned on, the PC is inaudible. AC power:-
- 35-36W idle w/ screen off (I don't use a screensaver)
- 40-41W idle w/ screen on
- 50-55W playing 1080p video
- 55-60W extreme multitasking - playing 1080p video, running utorrent, winrar & Avira antivirus, streaming music via ethernet -- and amazingly, the video remains perfectly viewable >99% of the time.
Occasional peaks to around 65-70W are seen mostly when starting programs, but these are very short term. 50W is the typical in-use power when watching video. Probably could get 5W lower with more efficient power supply.
EDIT: Keep in mind when comparing that my system power figures are AC while the i5-661 numbers in Larry's article are DC. You'd have to adjust the above numbers down by ~30% or more to compensate for the losses in the PSU. When that is done, my 240e system and the test i5-661 system are very close in power..