Power Consumption / Temperature Testing
For this section, every energy saving feature was enabled in the respective BIOSes and the Windows Vista power plan was changed from High Performance to Balanced.
For our idle test, we let the system idle for 15 minutes and measured the peak wattage through our UPM EM100 power meter.
For our CPU load test, we ran Prime 95 In-place large FFTs on all available threads for 15 minutes, measuring the peak wattage via the UPM EM100 power meter.
For our overall system load test, we ran Prime 95 In-place large FFTs on all available threads for 15 minutes, while simultaneously loading the GPU with OCCT v3.1.0 GPU:OCCT stress test at [email protected] in full screen mode.
As you can see, the Core i3-2120 had exceptionally low power consumption numbers, the lowest that we have seen so far. Similarly, the Core i5-2400 posted very low power consumption numbers, albeit not really any different than our two K-series models.
First and foremost, the Sandy Bridge chips in this graph have an almost unfair advantage in the form of the Intel DH67BL motherboard. This Intel-manufactured motherboard has unmatched idle power consumption, easily 10W less than comparable motherboards from the big three motherboard manufacturers. With that said, the Core i3-2120 once again had the lowest power consumption numbers that we've seen when using an IGP. The Core i5-2400 was also very impressive at idle, but full CPU load and full system load it had similar power consumptions as the higher-clocked K-series chips that feature the fully-fledged Graphics HD 3000 IGP.
For the temperature testing, since we were not given a default cooler from AMD, we used a Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme with a Thermalright TR-FDB-1600 fan. The ambient temperature was 25°C/77°F. The application used to monitor temperatures was HWiNFO v3.82-1300. Keep in mind that the thermal sensors in most modern processors are not really accurate at measuring idle temperatures, hence the very small delta between the room temp and the idle results.
Idle CPU + Idle IGP: The system was left to idle for 15 minutes.
Idle GPU + Load IGP: OCCT v3.1.0 GPU stress test was run at 1680x1050 for 15 minutes.
Load CPU + Idle IGP: Prime 95 In-place large FFTs was run for 15 minutes.
Load CPU + Load IGP: Prime 95 In-place large FFTs and OCCT v3.1.0 GPU stress test were run for 15 minutes.
Obviously, these chips run very cool at idle, and even when the IGP is being fully taxed. However, given the dinky little heatsinks that come bundled with them, they can get quite toasty when fully loaded. The Core i5-2400 in particularly could really use a better stock heatsink.
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