Athlon 64 X2 Energy Efficient Processors

Article Index

Power Consumption And Overclocking


Please keep in mind that we were testing total system power consumption here at the outlet, not just the power being drawn by the processors alone. In this test, we're showing you a ramp-up of power from idle on the desktop to full CPU load and then a ramp to full CPU and Graphics load. We tested with a combination of Prime 95 and Folding@Home on running on each test system to create 100% CPU load.

Power Characteristics
Processors and Platforms


We've tested the processors and compared them to a number of different system configurations here, so there are few observation that can and should be made. First take note of the motherboards we listed in brackets next to each processor.  Note that the GeForce 6150/nForce 430 chipset-based system consists of a mini-ATX motherboard with a single PCI Express graphics slot.  This is in significant contrast to the fully loaded nForce 590 SLI and Intel 975X-based motherboards we tested.  We should point out that the 16 extra PCI Express lanes alone could account for up to 2-3 watts of extra power draw if they were all in use, though we did test with only a single GeForce 7900 GTX in all test systems. 

So in short, the reason we're providing measurements for the Athlon 64 5000+ here, on both platforms, is to illustrate the effect the motherboard has on the numbers were showing in the rest of the graphs.  If you tack on an additional 5-10 watts for the 6150/nF430-based systems, that will give you an idea of how the new Athlon 64 X2 4600+ and 3800+ Energy Efficient cores perform in a higher-end system board.

The EE 3800+ sneaked in under the wire at 119 Watts full load and the 4600+ wiggled in just under 150 Watts. At idle there is only a 9 watt differential between the two chips and they are easily the lowest power consumption of the group.  For applications like HTPCs and other small form factor installations, these low power dual core Athlons will provide a bit more breathing room for the significantly smaller Power Supplies that are typically incorporated into these types of systems.   

AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ And 4600+, Energy Efficient Overclocking
Room to spare

Of course with their low power and heat characteristics, the new Athlon 64 4600+ and 3800+ were sure to be decent overclockers, so we turned up the dials a bit to see where these processors would take us. 

Overclocking At Default Voltage

Athlon 64 X2 3800+

Athlon 64 X2 4600+

3800+ @ 2.6GHz, 1.5V

4600+ @ 2.82GHz, 1.5V

At default voltages we were able to remain stable with a 15% increase in core speed on the 3800+ and a 10% increase on the 4600+.  With a voltage boost .10v above standard Athlon 64 X2 ranges, the 3800+ hits a stable 2.6GHz and the 4600+ hits 2.8GHz.  It goes without saying but your mileage may vary of course.  Still at 2.8GHz you're looking at A64 FX-62 speeds on the 4600+ and 5000+ level speeds for the 3800+ at 2.6GHz. 

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