Total System Power Consumption
Before we bring this article to a close, we'd like to cover a few final data points. Throughout all of our benchmarking and testing, we monitored how much power our test systems were consuming using a power meter. Our goal was to give you an idea as to how much power each configuration consumed while idling and 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 motherboards alone.
The Phenom X4 9950 Black Edition and X4 9350e couldn't be more different from a power-consumption perspective. As expected, the higher-clocked X4 9950 with its 140 watt TDP consumed the more power under load than any of the other processors we tested. The 65W Phenom X4 9350e, however, was much more power friendly and consumed only slightly more power than a dual-core Athlon 64 X2 4600+. Also note, that with a different motherboard, the AMD power consumption scores would likely be even lower, as the early revision Gigabyte 790FX motherboard we used for testing consumes more power than some other 790FX-based products.
Update: Because the new Phenom X4 9350e is an energy efficient CPU targeted at more mainstream users, and won't necessarily be paired up with a high-end motherboard and graphics card like we used for the testing above, we decided to take it for a spin in a micro-ATX AMD-780G based Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H motherboard as well. With a more power friendly board like this, using the IGP, power consumption was considerably lower. In fact, the Phenom X4 9350e idled at around 69 watts and peaked under load at 132 watts. That's a huge difference in comparison to the 790FX / 8800 GTX combo above.