OT: Perhaps SPCR should come up with the Power Efficiency Unit (PEU) as a function of a benchmark score divided by Power consumption.
That would be great, although the toughest part is determining the real
power draw. AMD seems to be very conservative about the true power draw of their chips, which actually is one of their greatest assets. I would assume a mobile Barton or Mobile A64 would be the best candidate though at factory specified clock speeds and voltages.
I've always wanted to see this exact thing. It's all fine and dandy that Via puts out less than ten watts, but how much processing power are you actually getting out of the chip?
I would think you could make a test setup using very similar components for AMD, Intel, and Via chips--the only thing that would have to be different is memory and motherboard, but perhaps a bit of testing could figure out just how much variance there is in memory and motherboards.
Then you could measure the AC power draw coming out of the wall, and compare that with some benchmark measurements.
There's a number of flaws I can think of this sytem already, but there has to be some way to get a comprehensive idea of what a given chip consumes verses its actual performance in various applications. The big question in my mind would be what benchmarks to use. P4s and Athlons both have their respective strengths and weaknesses--do you choose gaming? Encoding? Folding? Compiling? Some artificial benchmark? The only thing I can think of is you're going to have to do a number of tests for multiple benchmarks, reconcile that with the power draw during said activity, and then go from there. Needless to say, it'd be difficult to draw good conclusions if this wasn't performed with the most anal retentive methods possible.
Thing is.. different chips will be able to sustain different levels of undervolting while still holding a high clockspeed, and furthermore, different motherboards will provide different levels of undervoltability. That makes it really hard to just put out a chart and say that XYZ chip will score 123 units of measure per watt on the so-and-so benchmark.
I would think you'd have to leave the underclocking/undervolting for a separate test methodology, or create numbers off to the side for each system denoting how low of an undervolt/clock was achieved, since that's yet another unknown element in the whole process.
I, for one, would love to see what processor produces the most processing power for the smallest amount of heat. It'd be a massive project, but.....damn, would that be cool.