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-- AMD AM2 worth it?
-- Category: Tech Bits
-- Posted by: Shad0wHawk
-- Posted on: 2006-09-19
-- Price: ~ $N / A USD
-- Pages: 1 2 [ 3 ]
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Power consumption AM2 vs. 939: With double the RAM speed support and higher processor speeds (up to 2.8 GHz in the socket AM2 versus 2.4 GHz in the socket 939) you would assume that it would increase the power consumption. If you think that you would be wrong. In many cases the Socket AM2 is less than the socket 939. The AM2 5000+ at 2.6 GHz for example, uses 89W while the 939 4800+ at 2.4 GHz uses 110W. The AM2 4800+ at 2.4 GHz uses either 89W or 65W stepped power.

Here is a breakdown of the power consumption for each AMD chip speed based on running everyday applications (see Thermal Design Power* definition below):

Click to enlarge

Information above obtained from AMD here

*Thermal Design Power is typically set not to be the highest power the chip could potentially draw (such as power consumed due to a power virus or burn in program), but rather the maximum power that it would draw when running normal daily applications. This ensures the system will be able to handle all applications without exceeding its thermal envelope and without requiring a cooling solution for the maximum theoretical power, which would achieve no measurable benefit nor would it be cost effective. Also TDP represents the maximum amount of power the cooling solution in a computer system is required to dissipate. A CPU cooling solution may be designed for  80 W TDP, which means that it can dissipate the heat generated by 80 watts efficiently and quickly enough to prevent the part from burning up. Methods used for dissipation include active (i.e. fans), natural convection, or radiation. Most computers use a combination of methods.

As you can see the increased speed does not mean increased power consumption in this case. In conclusion, with the AM2 you get nearly double the bandwidth, increased performance, and in the worst case you use the same amount of power as the 939 chip.

The future availability of AM2 technology: You can certainly expect to see more computers on the market with this technology in the very near future. Also expect to see more name brand manufacturers switching from Intel to AMD or at the very least to including the AMD processors in their product offerings. AMD is finally being recognized as the powerhouse chipmaker that AMD users knew they were.

The only downfall I see of the AM2 is that like any new technology it tends to be rather pricey at $870.00 for the AMD Athlon 64 FX-62 2.80GHz / 2MB Cache / 2000MHz FSB. The price does however drop drastically for marginally slower chips for instance just dropping down to the 2.00 GHz 3800+ with 1 MB cache and still the 2000 MHz FSB the price drops to around $160.00.

All the data for the comparison is taken directly from AMD’s web site.

ATTRIBUTION AMD, the AMD Arrow logo, AMD Athlon, and combinations thereof are trademarks of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. Microsoft and Windows are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the U.S. and other jurisdictions. SYSmark is a registered trademark of Business Applications Performance Corporation. Winstone is a registered trademark of Ziff Davis Publishing Holdings Inc., an affiliate of eTesting Labs Inc. 3DMark is a trademark of Futuremark Corporation. Other names are for informational purposes only and may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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