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.
The Core i5 661 is one heck of a power-friendly processor, when paired with the right components. With the Core i5 661 utilizing its integrated graphics core, it is the lowest power option by a wide margin. Its idle power is close to the Phenom / 785G combo, but the Core i5 661's load power is significantly lower than anything else. When paired with a powerful discreet graphics card like the GTX 280, total system power consumption goes way up, but once again the Core i5 661 consumes the least amount of power, although by a much smaller margin.