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Review: How to get the most performance at the lowest power consumption
The new Phenom II processor family brought AMD back on track. While it can't compete clock by clock with Intel, the CPUs are cheap and supporting dual memory interfaces suitable for the cheaper DDR2 and the more enthusiast DDR3 market. The only problem AMD faces is quite high power consumption, not unlike the Core i7 family which is of course faster.
Many users are not that concerned about power-consumption, but during the current economic crises power has gotten more expensive. If someone fails, in this case the companies could not sell all the power due to decreased production, someone has to pay for it. Yes, that's us, the normal citizen.
Also in an other area power consumption plays a major role, for all people building HTPCs for example. The major concern is not the power-consumption itself, but the heat produced by the CPU. So less consumption means less heat and lower heat enables to use smaller coolers. HTPC cases are not that big and don't have the airflow of a big case. Now let us check if also the standard CPUs from AMD can reduce their power-consumption and fit a nicer TDP envelope.
MSI 790GX-GD70 (provided by MSI)
AMD Phenom II 705e (provided by AMD)
AMD Phenom II 905e (provided by AMD)
AMD Phenom II 720 Black Edition (provided by AMD)
AMD Phenom II 810 (provided by AMD)
AMD Phenom II 955 Black Edition (provided by AMD)
Scythe Kabuto (provided by Scythe-Europe) for AMD and Intel E/Q
Thermalright Ultra 120 eXtreme 1366 (provided by Thermalright) for Intel i7
Kingston 3GB Kit PC3-10600U KHX1600D3K3/2GX (provided by Kingston)
1333MHz CL7-7-7-20 CR1T at 1.50V
MSI R4850-2D1G-OC (provided by MSI)
PC Power & Cooling Silencer 500W (provided by PC Power & Cooling)
Western Digital WD4000KD (provided by Ditech)
SilenX iXtrema Pro 14dB(A) (provided by PC-Cooling.at)
Cooler Master Stacker 831 Lite (provided by Cooler Master)
Since we are still not fans of Vista, all tests are performed with XP SP3. As 64-bit software is still not very common, we stick with the 32-bit version.
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