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Print 42 comment(s) - last by Zoomer.. on May 19 at 6:26 AM

Low wattage desktop processors for AM2

As no surprise to anyone, AMD just announced its Energy Efficient line of processors.  We previously reported on the processor TDPs and release dates.  By utilizing aggressive power state timings settings and processors binned for lower voltages, AMD has managed to take a select few processor cores and modify them to use less energy during typical operation.  Even though the processors are rated with 35 watt to 65 watt thermal envelopes, AMD's press release claims "When running typical workloads, as reflected in the SYSmark 2004 SE benchmark, end users could experience their energy efficient dual-core processor consuming 14 watts."

However, don't expect the EE savings to come for free.  The energy efficient processors carry a $10 to $30 premium on non-EE versions, though AMD has not officially revealed that pricing yet either.  DailyTech published a complete list of AM2 launch prices for non-EE processors several weeks ago.

AMD Desktop EE Processor Roadmap 2006
Processor
Socket
Core
TDP
Price
Athlon 64 X2 4800+
AM2
Dual
65W
$651
Athlon 64 X2 4600+
AM2
Dual
65W
$601
Athlon 64 X2 4400+
AM2
Dual
 65W
$514
Athlon 64 X2 4200+
AM2
Dual
65W
$417
Athlon 64 X2 4000+
AM2
Dual
65W
$353
Athlon 64 X2 3800+
AM2
Dual
65W
$323
Athlon 64 X2 3800+
AM2
Dual
35W
$364
Athlon 64 3500+
AM2
Single
35W
$231
Sempron 3400+
AM2
Single
35W
$145
Sempron 3200+
AM2
Single
35W
$119
Sempron 3000+
AM2
Single
35W
$101

AMD roadmaps have revealed that the processors will go on sale May 23, 2006, though AMD's official stance is that the processors will simply ship sometime this month.  AMD is also expected to announce the non-EE versions of these processors on May 23, 2006.


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Price premiums
By plewis00 on 5/16/2006 7:06:33 AM , Rating: 4
For the $10-30 premium they charge I think it's well worth it, if only for the power savings given you'll save electricity (I know maybe not $10-30 worth but also less heat, therefore quieter too).

I imagine the big interest will be from overclockers who tend to jump on chips which have good performance at a lower voltage as having the same core as the bigger chips means you can comfortably run them at non-EE stock voltage and probably also higher still.




RE: Price premiums
By segagenesis on 5/16/2006 8:19:00 AM , Rating: 2
It's still a large price premium over comparable dual core Intel procs. I don't see myself buying an AMD dual core until they are more compeditive.


RE: Price premiums
By blwest on 5/16/2006 2:56:20 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
It's still a large price premium over comparable dual core Intel procs. I don't see myself buying an AMD dual core until they are more compeditive.


The only differences is that the intel chips are crap. You pay less for crap.


RE: Price premiums
By Wonga on 5/16/2006 3:21:42 PM , Rating: 1
LOL, well summed up. Intel wouldn't charge peanuts if they were any good.


RE: Price premiums
By Shivian on 5/16/2006 8:55:13 PM , Rating: 2
LOL hear hear!

Crap has been the 'in thing' for too long.


RE: Price premiums
By bob661 on 5/16/2006 3:55:14 PM , Rating: 2
How are they not competitive? AMD's dualies perform better than Intel's so they charge more for them. If Intel's dualies performed better they would charge more for them. Am I going to see more idiotas like yourself when Conroe hits the market?


RE: Price premiums
By NT78stonewobble on 5/17/2006 1:00:35 AM , Rating: 2
Well i'm still running an xp-m 2400. I oc'ed to 2400 mhz.

I'd like to upgrade to a dualcore and 64 bit chip what are my choices?

An intel dualcore which gives me double the encoding performance and less gaming performance than today?

An amd x2 which gives me double the encoding performance and 30 percent more gaming performance?

On amd / intel mobo and processor theres is 1000 dkk price difference here. Which I would have to spend on ddr2(which still doesnt give any performance benifits).


RE: Price premiums
By CorrND on 5/16/2006 9:48:31 AM , Rating: 4
If you leave your computer on 24 hours-a-day, you could see some cost savings over the course of a year. If you reduce the power consumption of your computer by 20W you could save:

20W * 24hr/day = 480W-hr/day = 0.48kW-hr/day
0.48kW-hr/day * 365 days/yr = 175.2kW-hr/yr
175.2kW-hr/yr * $0.08/kW-hr = $14.02/yr

$14 per year for every 20W saved. Not too bad compared to the increased cost, assuming you're not a person that upgrades their processor every 6 months!


RE: Price premiums
By SunAngel on 5/16/06, Rating: -1
RE: Price premiums
By CorrND on 5/16/2006 10:47:52 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed that it doesn't make sense for people that just bought new systems in the last year.

I only meant that the decision of which processor to buy could be partially determined based on the energy savings of the more efficient processor, not that the cost of a complete upgrade could be recouped.

(I'm not even sure my calculation is even accurate. How directly does TDP relate to electrical power consumption?)


RE: Price premiums
By Viditor on 5/17/2006 12:24:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm not even sure my calculation is even accurate. How directly does TDP relate to electrical power consumption?


It doesn't...TDP is a thermal guideline for OEMs (not power consumption), and AMD and Intel arrive at their guidelines with different criteria. Intel's TDP is guided towards typical high-end use, and AMD's is absolute max theoretical power.


RE: Price premiums
By Zoomer on 5/19/2006 6:26:35 AM , Rating: 2
During winter, you'll need that heat anyway. So not really a savings then.


RE: Price premiums
By shadowzz on 5/16/2006 1:43:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm not trying to be a troll here,


Coming from the guy with the lowest comment history rating on DT. Nice.


RE: Price premiums
By timmiser on 5/16/2006 1:50:31 PM , Rating: 2
Plus there are many people who may have a single core Athlon 64 with a 939 mobo that still have an upgrade path to a duo core 4x00 X2. The problem with the introduction of the AM2 is that this is all the same processors that AMD has had out for a year so where is the motivation if you already have a 939 mobo?


RE: Price premiums
By Chernobyl68 on 5/16/2006 3:46:26 PM , Rating: 2
actually thats exactly what I'm looking at doing...I have a Socket-A CPU and a GF 4200ti. I'm patiently waiting to see how the AM2 sockets deliver, and then will make my purchase decision, but its looking like the 3800+X2 will do nicely.
and glancing at my last utility bill, my electric runs about 11.43 cents/kw hour, or about 40% higher than the .08 suggested above (PG&E stinks) so the more efficient CPUs would be favorable to me, it would probably pay the difference in a year and a half or so.

Chern


Incorrect
By Phynaz on 5/16/2006 9:56:50 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
By utilizing aggressive power state timings settings and processors binned for lower voltages, AMD has managed to take a select few processor cores and modify them to use less energy during typical operation.


AMD isn't modifying a thing in these chips.

All there are doing is testing power consumtion at the factory, and selling the chips that consume less power for more money.

Again: These are just regular Athlon64 chips.




RE: Incorrect
By Griswold on 5/16/2006 11:56:47 AM , Rating: 2
Why dont you stop talking out of your ass for once? Of course these are selected chips, but the quote is still correct and they also are manufactured with an improved process for obvious reasons.





RE: Incorrect
By Phynaz on 5/16/2006 12:07:01 PM , Rating: 2
LOL!


RE: Incorrect
By Wonga on 5/16/2006 3:26:51 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure most current Athlon 64s, being single or dual core, can run at a not-insignificant voltage reduction. For instance, my X2 3800+ can run at the default speed at only 1.15V! I'm sure that lowers the heat output somewhat.



RE: Incorrect
By Viditor on 5/17/2006 12:29:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
All there are doing is testing power consumtion at the factory, and selling the chips that consume less power for more money.


Ummm...no. These are the result of the new DSL SiGe process announced back in December.


RE: Incorrect
By Phynaz on 5/17/2006 5:05:34 PM , Rating: 2
Ummm...No they are not. Please read before posting.


RE: Incorrect
By Phynaz on 5/17/2006 5:09:23 PM , Rating: 3
Here, I'll help you.

"The energy-efficient chips are actually the same as the standard Athlon 64 (for standard desktops), Sempron (the budget model) and Athlon X2 (dual-core) processors AMD already sells. AMD, however, will test them at the factory and those that consume electricity below a certain threshold will be sold as energy-efficient models."

http://news.com.com/AMD+unveils+line+of+energy-awa...


.
By hoppa on 5/16/2006 1:55:22 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps maybe one day the prices for these dual core procs will actually come down. I've been in the market for over a year now and the prices are just completely stuck. It's a pretty sad day when almost nothing happens in the CPU market for over a year.




RE: .
By Chernobyl68 on 5/16/2006 3:48:49 PM , Rating: 2
I agree...I don't think there's been much of a shift lately.



RE: .
By Phynaz on 5/16/2006 4:45:36 PM , Rating: 2
Second half of the year should see some major price cuts. Word is AMD has a pretty serious inventory problem right now, and they're going to have to cut prices if they don't want warehouses of old chips sitting around.


RE: .
By Viditor on 5/17/2006 12:33:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Word is AMD has a pretty serious inventory problem right now


Actually, those analysts are saying BOTH Intel and AMD have serious inventory problems right now, and that Intel's is much worse.
However, they have forgotten that when OEMs shift to a new platform, they always cut back on purchasing so as not to oversupply on the old models. Most OEMs will be buying up a lot of those chips when they determine what demand is for Conroe/AM2 and can purchase the proper mix...especially as the back to school season is coming.


RE: .
By Phynaz on 5/17/2006 5:11:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Actually, those analysts are saying BOTH Intel and AMD have serious inventory problems right now, and that Intel's is much worse.


I don't hear word about Asian distributers selling Intel chips at a loss to move them, as they are having to do to move AMD inventory.


Green certification?
By android1st on 5/16/2006 2:33:45 PM , Rating: 2
Is there some sort of "green" or sustainable label that AMD could get for this? I'm curious as to the motivation/reasoning behind this. Obviously it's a way to make more money, but what lead up to this decision?




RE: Green certification?
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 5/16/2006 3:08:40 PM , Rating: 2
In order for Vista MCE certification on system builders, the total system must adhere to a noise envelope. By cutting the TDP, AMD can cut the noise. I am pretty sure this is all related


RE: Green certification?
By haelduksf on 5/17/2006 12:43:16 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah- from what i've seen so far, the emphasis is much more on the noise reduction than the actual voltage reduction itself (well, besides the EE server chips, but that's a different story). Think about it...the last CPU that ran at 14W (according to a quick search) is the Pentium MMX!


RE: Green certification?
By CorrND on 5/17/2006 1:01:33 PM , Rating: 2
The first couple coppermine Celerons also ran that low:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_Celeron...

I had a 533A. You could practically run that thing without a fan.


Power Usage
By JPH1121 on 5/16/2006 5:03:41 PM , Rating: 2
Don't neglect that the AM2 setup is going to be significantly less power hungry than a comparable 939 solution.

Power usage is going down on the processor and the RAM is dropping a LOT. Typically, DDR RAM takes 2.5V, DDR2 takes 1.8 I believe.

This change is going to cool down, and speed up computers, especially for overclockers.

I'd skip the initial introduction of AM2 though...65nm is the next time I'd pick up an AMD processor for my current comp.

But hey, I'm running a 3700+ OC'd to 2.7 with a heavily OC'd 7900gt...so I'm doing fine <3




RE: Power Usage
By Scrogneugneu on 5/16/2006 7:46:42 PM , Rating: 2
I would guess that the coming years won't be seeing that much performance improvement at all.

I believe that the main focus will be on the power consumption going dramatically down, with the ultimate goal to push battery life (and so sales) on laptops. If they keep this going on for 4 or 5 years, desktops won't have much advantage left, as the most powerful chips won't have a too high voltage or power comsumption to be in a laptop.

Desktop will die, with the HTPC as heir. Laptop will survive and continue to be used as long as nothing better comes out.


RE: Power Usage
By cscpianoman on 5/16/2006 11:39:00 PM , Rating: 2
In a way "yes" and in a way "no." I think there will always be a niche market for desktops on the retail level. However, I believe desktops will still play a major role in businesses. Especially trying to keep track of current assets. Laptops kindof add a dimension of higher susceptibility. Spills, drops, etc add expense to businesses that can reasonably be avoided with a desktop. For people who sit at a desk all day; ie secretaries, data entry, etc why buy a laptop?


RE: Power Usage
By Scrogneugneu on 5/16/2006 11:57:50 PM , Rating: 2
The question is, why not?

A desktop is bulky, take a lot of room and when you move your company you have to take care of all those screens, all those keyboards, all those towers... for what?


At equal price and equal performance, is there really a reason NOT to choose a laptop? Just don't move it if you don't need to. When you'll need to do it, you'll be able to.


Sure, nobody is gonna start upgrading all the computers to laptops tomorrow. But I say that someday not so far away, a laptop will cost less than a desktop. From that day on, if you start a company and need to equip yourself with some computing power, what would be the best choice?


Why Buy AM2?!?!?!
By z3R0C00L on 5/16/06, Rating: 0
RE: Why Buy AM2?!?!?!
By MrKaz on 5/16/2006 12:39:47 PM , Rating: 2
Why buy a celeron if you can buy the Pentium4.
Why buy the P4 when you can buy the Pentium D.

Stop making stupid posts like this...



RE: Why Buy AM2?!?!?!
By Phynaz on 5/16/06, Rating: 0
RE: Why Buy AM2?!?!?!
By MrKaz on 5/16/2006 1:20:24 PM , Rating: 2
That was the idea...


RE: Why Buy AM2?!?!?!
By fikimiki on 5/16/2006 12:53:33 PM , Rating: 2
What is your problem? If you want Conroe - buy one.
Maybe tommorow?


14-35w?
By ceefka on 5/16/2006 9:34:38 AM , Rating: 2
At 14-35W max it could almost do without a CPU-fan or at least a very low RPM fan. Great for HTPCs. So that's a few bucks for some extra silence, that's not too bad. What were the Conroe numbers again?




Always good!
By Clauzii on 5/16/2006 6:26:02 PM , Rating: 2
It is always good to save energy :) - Gotta love..




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