Athlon Vs. Atom: Duel Of The Energy Savers

With the development of the Atom processor, Intel introduced a totally new chip design that consumes very little energy. AMD had to strike back, and did so by clocking down its Athlon 64, employing the K8 micro architecture, down to the lowest possible frequency of 1 GHz. The Athlon 64 2000+ runs with a core voltage of 0.90 volts and uses just 8 watts. As a result, the CPU easily operates without a fan. If you drop the 8 W Athlon 64 into a motherboard based on the 780G chipset, then the system hits power consumption numbers that, in our measurements, are below Intel’s Atom desktop solution. We were even able to lower the core voltage by 11%, without stability problems, and the power analyzer read lower numbers. Interestingly, AMD’s Athlon 64 2000+ processor, unlike Intel‘s Atom CPU, is not embedded in the motherboard. It can be run on any board with an AM2 or AM2+ socket.

Compared to Intel’s Atom, which runs at 1.6 GHz, the Athlon 64 2000+ is clocked at 1 GHz—60% lower. Despite this, the Athlon 64 outperforms the Atom in several benchmark tests as a result of its more efficient K8 architecture. In addition, the energy consumption of the entire system is lower, and that’s what really matters most.
We tried to run an AMD Sempron LE-1100 at 1 GHz and 0.90 V, but it crashed due to instability. Either the Athlon 64 2000+ was a pre-selected CPU, or the Athlon core has undergone a different manufacturing process than the normal processors. However, the AMD Athlon 64 2000+ will be significantly more expensive to manufacture than the Atom processor because Intel had optimized its energy-saving model to lower production costs.

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