We'd like to cover a few final data points before bringing this article to a close. Throughout all of our benchmarking and testing, we monitored how much power our test systems consumed using a power meter. Our goal was to give you all an idea as to how much power each configuration used while idling and while under a heavy workload. Please keep in mind that we were testing total system power consumption at the outlet here, not just the power being drawn by the processors alone.
AMD's latest budget priced processors were quite power friendly according to our testing. In terms of idle power consumption, the new Athlon II X4 635 and Phenom II X2 555 were the best of the bunch by a few watts each. And peak power consumption was very good as well, although neither could quite match the Core i5 661.