Intel Core i7-2820QM Mobile Sandy Bridge Processor

Power Consumption and Battery Life Projections

Before bringing this article to a close, we'd like to cover a few final data points--namely power consumption.  Throughout all of our benchmarking and testing, we monitored how much power our Intel Sandy Bridge notebook test system was consuming 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.

Total System Power Consumption
Tested at the Outlet
Please keep in mind that we were testing total system power consumption at the outlet here, which is inclusive of notebook LCD panels where applicable.  That said, our Core i7-2820QM test notebook came equipped with a 17-inch panel like the Clevo and Dell notebooks we show here in the graph.

A mere 16 Watts at idle and that's with the LCD panel on?  Your eyes do not deceive you. 16 Watts is on the order of what an Atom-based netbook consumes under light workloads and this is a quad-core, eight thread capable processor that will scale in excess of 3GHz when called on.  Recall our Vital Signs and Overclocking with Turbo Boost section from a few pages back.  Sandy Bridge's 800MHz clock gating capability will afford notebook battery life advantages not seen on any Intel-based architecture thus far.  Though since we really weren't looking at a retail ready notebook in this test, we're omitted our traditional battery life tests for this piece.  We'll definitely explore this area more deeply with retail products from various major OEMs in the future.

At full load, even scaled to over 3.1GHz with all eight threads pegged at 100%, the Core i7-2820QM system didn't even break the 90 Watt level.  When we fired up a more graphics intensive app like Cinebench's OpenGL test, we found the Sandy Bridge consumed about 56 Watts under heavy graphics loads that call less upon the chip's CPU engines.  It may sound a bit like marketing speak but the Core i7-2820QM's performance-per-watt profile is literally unrivaled thus far in our humble estimation.

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