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i7 vs Low Power CPUs

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Atnevon, Mar 25, 2010.

  1. Atnevon

    Atnevon

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    So here is a gander,

    I keep looking at charts for performance in CPUS, GPUS, Hard Drives, Power Supplies, and I cannot for the love of me find a good chart to that shows good performance per electricity comparison. I can easily on Hard Drives and GPUs though. Hmmm. (btw, TPU reviews have helped a whole lot in that area of researching. Cudos)

    I ask for a strange, out of semi-place fashion. I am planning on showing clients that there can be decent energy saving ways to build your own machine (part wise. I have a whole pamphlet already for methods to save it, but saving it for the purpose of the topic) What I want to show is that there is a good CPU that is quick enough, but not top of the line i7 980X material, but still low on the bar that it is reasonably priced and energy efficient (in some aspect)

    I know CPUs like the i7 run pretty hefty on power in comparison with say my parents AMD 4850e rig I built for them last Christmas. But also it can crunch over 9000 times more as well. I wonder if anyone knows of decent resources or recommendations they can offer in this light.

    It sounds cliche I know. But I have to provide numbers of some fashion. Green trend or not.

    Thanks a ton,
    -At
     
  2. hat

    hat Maximum Overclocker

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    I would do something like benchmark score divided by tdp. Unfortunately, amd and intel cpu's don't scale linearly in benchmarks (SuperPI is a huge example of this) so there's really no good way to directly compare the two, but you can compare within brands.
     
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    Crunching for Team TPU
  3. alucasa

    alucasa

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    I go through that question often since I build rackmount servers. Since CPU is the main heat source in servers, it's important to have a good idea of CPU's TDP and efficiency.

    Though, in servers, often money is not an issue.

    There are low powered Intel core 2 quads available with 65w TDP rating. You save 30w of TDP which can change a whole layout in servers.

    And there are Q9x00 mobile core 2 quad CPUs at 45w TDP. They work on socket P rev 2.

    Both Intel and AMD offer energy efficient server grade CPUs, you might want to browse Newegg for server line CPUs.

    Personally speaking, as a consumer, I find i3 530 to be quite good in both power usage and CPU raw power.
     
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  4. Completely Bonkers New Member

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    Low power CPU's are the way to go if you want a silent or always on machine. I use an Atom 330 as my main 24/7 desktop. It also runs my phone system, which obviously needs to be 24/7.

    However, if you need to CRUNCH, or do something that really requires the CPU to work, then you need to go for CPU-performance and FORGET about trying to power minimise. You can't really have both, and every client will have a different "need", so no one solution will fit all. I therefore also have a dual CPU workstation in the (other) office that I use when doing hardcore stuff.

    But what are you trying to get at with your question?
    1./ Encourage people to buy a lower power and lower performance machine that is sufficient for 99% of their need, and accept that the world is a greener place for them getting a slower machine 1% of the time? OR
    2./ Are you trying to encourage people to PAY MORE for the same performance machine, but as a low-power specification edition, like CULV or Xeon L?

    If 1, then my Atom 330 is fine for Office, for printing, for Internet, for email. But it completely fails IF

    1. I want to OCR, or optimise scans, e.g. LuraDocument
    2. I want to edit or manipulate large graphics files
    3. (Re-)Encoding audio or visual
    4. Gaming

    So, if you are recommending something for your mum or grandparents or the office secretary/clerk, then an Atom 330 is more than enough. But if you are building a server, a workstation or a gaming machine, then forget (very) low power. You will need more performance than low power will give you. Exactly how much power you are going to need is then determined by intended purpose of the machine.

    What are we doing in our office? Using low power silent clients, and have a high power server providing various services that take too long on a low power desktop. e.g. run watch folders and drop files into the folders to process them, e.g. PDF optimisation and OCR etc.

    However, this is not good for power users that really need to have power on tap.

    My personal "optimal zone"? Look at the performance of the best processor. Buy something that is 20% less powerful. You have 20% less performance on the CPU, which 99% of the time doesnt matter. But you save 50% on the cost of the CPU. And for most games, the CPU isnt the bottleneck, the GPU is. So a CPU even 50% the speed of the best will not impact framerates even 1%.
     
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  5. JayliN New Member

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    i7 can be VERY efficient, low power, and cool if you underclock+undervolt it. Here is mine at .895v in bios, 2266mhz, full load.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. hat

    hat Maximum Overclocker

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    19w? I simply don't believe it.
     
    Crunching for Team TPU

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