Power Consumption: Stock & Overclocked
To compare the power consumption of the .09 micron Winchester core based Athon 64 3500+ to the .13 micron Newcastle based CPU, we used a Seasonic Power Angel power meter to monitor total system wattage. Only the test system was plugged into the Power Angel, and the Power Angel was plugged into its own surge protector. Our monitor was plugged into a separate surge protector, in a different electrical outlet. To clearly demonstrate the effect the CPU was having on total system power consumption, we also took a few steps to ensure no other system components were drawing a significant amount of power during these tests. For reference, our test rig consisted of:
|MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum (NF3)
Corsair TWINX1024-3200XLPRO (2x512MB)
Western Digital 36GB Raptor
ATI Radeon 9600 XT
Antec "True380" 380 Watt Unit
3.5" Drive, Lite-On 16X DVD-ROM, Keyboard, Mouse
We configured Windows' Power Scheme to power down the hard drive after 1 minute at idle, and we disconnected the power cables from the floppy and DVD-ROM drives. And we chose to use the Radeon 9600 XT because it doesn't require supplemental power. Cool 'n Quiet was disabled throughout our testing.
At both stock and overclocked speeds, the .09 micron Winchester core based 3500+ plus used significantly less power than its .13 micron counterpart. With the .09 micron processor idling at its default speed, the test system used 8 fewer watts then when the .13 micron CPU was installed. And when running under a 100% load, the system used 35 watts less with the Winchester based 3500+ installed. Those are differences of 8.2% and 25.4%.
While overclocked, the system obviously drew more current, but the Winchester again used much less power. At idle, our test system used 8.9% (9 watts) less power while idling with the .09 micron A64 3500+ installed and while overclocked it used 20.1% (30 watts) less power.