|Intel Core i7-870 Processor BX80605I7870|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Processors|
|Written by Mathew Williams|
|Wednesday, 09 September 2009|
Page 13 of 15
Life is not as affordable as it used to be, and items such as fuel and electrical energy top the list of resources that have exploded in price over the past few years. Add to this the limit of non-renewable resources compared to demand and you can see that the prices are only going to get worse. Planet Earth is needs our help, and needs it badly. With forests becoming barren of vegetation and snow capped poles quickly turning brown, the technology industry has a new attitude towards suddenly becoming "green". Motherboard manufacturers, in particular, have been touting their new energy saving features. How effective these power management system are, is exactly what we intend to measure in our power consumption tests.
Before we get to the results, let me quickly explain the procedures. We begin with a completely idle system (Windows XP desktop with 0-2% processor utilization), and measure the power draw from the wall with a Kill-a-Watt power meter. Then we restart and disable CnQ, Speed Step, C1E, C-States, and Turbo Boost in the BIOS. This allows us to analyze efficiency of the different power saving technologies. We then max out the available CPU cores/threads using Prime95 to establish a maximum 2D power draw. Finally, as an additional test for the Core i5 and Core i7 processors, we run the 2D load test once again, but with Turbo Boost enabled to determine the impact it has on power consumption.
As I mentioned in the Core i5-750 reviews, Intel has a made quite a bit of progress on their power saving technologies since the Core 2 Quad generation. At idle, the Core i7-870 actually consumes 15 less watts than the Q9450. At load, it's a bit higher, but the i7-870 also performs better, which means it will compete the tasks faster. Not to mention, it's still much less than the power-hungry Phenom II X4 965.