We have one final data point we'd like to cover before bringing this article to a close. Our goal was to give you all an idea as to how much power each of the system configurations we tested used while idling and running under load.
Please keep in mind that we were testing total system power consumption here at the outlet, not just the power being drawn by the processors alone. In this test, we're showing you a ramp-up of power from idle on the desktop to full CPU load.
Now you see can all see why the Nano and Atom aren't quite in the same class as the Athlon 64 X2 and Core 2 Duo. One of the main goals when both the Nano and Atom were being designed was low-power operation and both design teams have succeeded on that front. Intel's part has an obvious advantage, consuming 19 fewer watts than the Nano under load, but remember the Nano is 1.8GHz, 65nm part, while the Atom is a 1.6GHz, 45nm part. If / when VIA is able to transition the Nano to a more advanced 45nm process, its power consumption should be reduced significantly. Of course, this hints at Intel's huge advantage in manufacturing. By the time any of their main competitors are able to "catch" Intel at 45nm, they'll be readying the next iteration.