NVIDIA Ion Reference PC Platform Deep Dive

Article Index

Power Consumption

NVIDIA Accelerates the Search For a Cure

Throughout all of our benchmarking and testing with NVIDIA's Ion platform, we monitored how much power our test systems were consuming using a power meter. Our goal was to give you an idea as to how much power a few of our systems consumed while idling and under a heavy workload, versus the Ion platform.

Total System Power Consumption
Tested at the Outlet

Please keep in mind that we were testing total system power consumption at the outlet here, not just the power being drawn by the motherboards or processors alone.  For this test, we loaded up both Cinebench and our 1080p Dark Night video clip to stress the CPU and GPU cores in the Ion system.  Then we fired up ET: Quake Wars to compare notes between multimedia power consumption and gaming power consumption.

1080p HD Video Playback and Cinebench Multitasking
Full CPU Load 

As it turned out, the peak load power numbers you see here for the Ion system are indicative of power consumption under a gaming workload, versus our simultaneous video playback and Cinebench test.  Though the multimedia test taxed the Atom processor completely with Cinebench, video playback only exercised the PureVideo engine of the GeForce 9400 GPU and not all available stream processor core resources. During a gaming session peak power consumption was realized and in general was about 1 - 2 Watts higher than when the system was stressed in our multimedia test.  Incidentally, the Ion system was able to play back our Dark Night test clip without dropping a frame of skipping a beat, though its Atom CPU was pegged at 100% utilization by the Cinbench render test running in the foreground.

Finally, versus the other Atom-based products we tested, the Ion system did consume more power both at idle and under loaded conditions, but that was to be expected with the beefy GeForce 9400M drawing a bit more with its more capable GPU and video engine core.

Related content