Total System Power Consumption
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.
In terms of idle power consumption, the new Core i7 processors are right in line with their Yorkfield-based Core 2 predecessors; only a few watts separates the different platforms. Under load, however, the Core i7-based systems consumed markedly more power. The 3.2GHz Core i7 Extreme 965, for example, consumed 37 more watts than the similarly clocked Core 2 Extreme QX9770 while under a heavy workload. Please keep in mind though, the Core i7 performed at a much higher level than the QX9770 in the majority of our tests. So, while peak power consumption may be somewhat higher, the Core i7 platform is just as, if not more, power efficient than the Core 2.