Intel Core i5-3427U: Ivy Bridge For Ultrabooks

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Power Consumption and Battery Life

If you're shopping for a notebook, you're likely very interested in what kind of battery life you can expect from a system, unless you're considering a desktop replacement machine.  Here we're put Intel's new dual-core Ivy Bridge chip through its paces in our power consumption and battery tests.

Intel Core i5-3427U Power Consumption and System Battery Life
System Power Consumption, Efficiency and Battery Life

The results below are from our combined Battery Eater Pro (worst case) and Web Browsing only (almost best case) tests. BEP beats on the CPU, GPU, disk and memory while it renders a 3D image and rotates it in real time on the screen. Our light duty, web browser test refreshes a web page of mixed text, graphics, HTML and Flash, every 3 minutes. Both tests are run with display brightness set to 50% with no sleep timers enabled. All other power plan options were left as delivered from the manufacturer.  We should note that all tests below were conducted on the integrated graphics core of the CPU in each notebook.

In our Battery Eater Pro and Web Browser battery drain test, Intel's new Ultrabook platform demonstration vehicle scored the longest light-duty uptime measurement we've seen to date, lasting almost 8 hours on a single charge under our web browsing test condition.  In our heavy-duty Battery Eater test, the machine still managed to post over 2 hours of untethered use but couldn't quite keep up with the bulkier machines with larger batteries than the 49WHr battery the new Intel prototype was powered by.

Under idle conditions on the desktop the new Intel Ultrabook drew just 11.5 Watts of power.  Under full CPU and GPU load combined, the entire system only drew about 56 Watts.  Compared to AMD's Trinity Whitebook, which sports a larger 14-inch form factor, this is a modest advantage at best.  However, the ultra low voltage version of Ivy Bridge is still impressive and miserly about power consumption, when you consider its relative horsepower compared to legacy and competing architectures.

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