I`m not sure if higher resistance would translate into lower power draw in practice, the power supply feeding the cpu would make sure it gets those 5/50/whatever amps the cpu needs. Higher resistance would result in higher power draw because of energy loss and also because the on board power supply would have to work harder.
You could take a look at a recent GPU cooler review done at SPCR: http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1103-page5.html
. Near the bottom of the page you can see how the power circuitry temperatures can affect power consumption.
Concerning your example of replacing the stock cooler with a giant tower heatsink: it might actually result in higher power use because the tower cooler doesn`t do much to cool the vrms surrounding the cpu. Now, I don`t know if lowering the temps of the chip itself would have an adverse effect (but I don`t remember seeing any tests that point to that direction). Either way, I`ll leave this question unanswered as semiconductors are way out of my league.
: After looking again at the temperature chart I linked, I can see that the chip temperature also seems to affect power consumption.
Higher resistance results in lower power draw in normal conductors. Hence why shorting a battery with a a wire (very low resistance) results quite quickly in a dead battery (or, quite possibly a fire). It also explains why opening (switching off) a switch (and thereby creating ~infinite resistance) results in 0 power draw
I don't profess to understand the complexities of modern PC PSU's but they're subject to the laws of physics
Amps are a measure of current. Power is measured in Watts.
Good point with regard to the voltage regulators, in practice this may come into it. I did say all other things being the same though, so for the sake or argument lets assume the airflow over the regs doesn't change.
Lowering the temps of the chip wont have an adverse effect, it can only have a positive one. I am interested to know if this positive effect is negligible or valuable
Basically what I'm interested is this... Look at http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1128-page6.html
(for example), where there are 2 coolers, both tower style, with the same fan, where 1 cooler lowers the CPU temp by 15 degrees relative to the other, I would be interested in the (at the wall) power draw of the system in each configuration.
I imagine this hasn't been covered because SPCR is more focused on low power draw => low temp => low noise. I'm interested to know if low temp => low power draw => lower energy bills