Energy efficiency and power consumption are major concerns for modern computing architectures, whether you're an Enthusiast, an IT Manager in a Data Center, or simply an ecologically minded individual. Let's face it, the modern high end computer is like a small space heater for all intents and purposes, and where there's heat, there's power consumption -- typically a lot of power consumption.
Both AMD and Intel have made great technological strides when it comes to power consumption in their current CPU architectures. Both the Athlon 64 X2 and Core 2 Duo processor cores have elaborate clock gating schemes to allow their cores to ramp down during periods of inactivity or light workloads.
AMD's line of "Energy Efficient Processors" takes this approach one step further by allowing operating input voltages to dip even further down, well below the standard range of the first Athlon 64 X2 and FX dual core chips that hit the market. This approach not only reduces power consumption and heat output in their low-power "Cool-n-Quiet" mode, but also during full throttle active usage scenarios.
Model: Athlon 64 X2 4600+ And 3800+
Dual Athlon 64 Cores Clocked at 2.4GHz And 2.0GHz
_._Frequency / Cache Sizes: 2.6GHz w/ 512KB L2 cache-per-core (1MB total L2 per processor)
_._L1 Cache Sizes: 64K - L1 instruction + 64K - L1 data cache per core (256KB total L1)
_._Memory Controller: Shared integrated 128-bit wide memory controller
AMD64 Instruction Set Architecture
Integrated DDR2 memory controller:
_._A64 FX and A64 X2:
DDR2 memory up to and including PC2 6400 (DDR2-800) unbuffered
_._A64 and Semperon:
DDR 2 memory up to and including PC2 5300 (DDR2-667) unbuffered
An advanced HyperTransport link:
HyperTransport Links: 1
HyperTransport Spec: 2GHz (2x 1000MHz / DDR)
Effective data bandwidth: 20.8 GB/sec (8GB/sec HyperTransport link + 12.8GB/sec memory)
_._AMD's Fab 30 wafer fabrication facility in Dresden, Germany
._.09 micron SOI (silicon-on-insulator)
._Socket AM2 organic micro-PGA
._Keyed Ziff socket
._Redesigned 4-bolt heatsink tray for better stability
_._Windsor Core - 183mm2
_._Windsor Core - Approximately 153.8 million
_._1.025-1.075V for energy efficient 35W small form factor processors
Max Thermal Power: 65W (4600+), 35W (3800+)
Lower Power Consumption:
Energy Efficient processors available in Socket AM2 flavors for the desktop and have maximum wattage specifications of 65 watts and 35 watts. These CPUs will retail for a slight premium. AMD's "Energy Efficient Processors" deliver the same performance with the same core frequency and cache sizes but with lower heat dissipation and power consumption. AMD's specified maximum power represents consumption under full load at the most extreme conditions.
Energy Efficient models available at 65 Watts max power:
AMD Athlon 64 X2 processors: 4600+, 4200+, and 3800+
Energy Efficient models available at 35 Watts max power:
AMD Athlon 64 X2 processor: 3800+
AMD Athlon 64 processor: 3500+
AMD Sempron processors: 3400+, 3200+, and 3000+
NOTE: The third digit of a desktop processor's part number details the maximum power consumption of that model.
"A" denotes "normal" power
"O" denotes a 65 watt energy efficient processor
"D" denotes a 35 watt energy efficient, small form factor processor