The benchmarks are hardly a surprise, as the 2.1 GHz Athlon X2 BE-2350 slides into its standard position in most benchmarks, right behind the 2.2 GHz Athlon 64 X2 4200+. This new processor is all about lowering voltages, watts and heat, while providing a smaller thermal footprint for small form factor PCs. Still, it is a good idea to make sure that this lower-wattage Athlon X2 processor maintains it relative performance against other AMD and Intel dual core models, and this has been confirmed with the benchmark testing.
Total System Power Consumption Testing
The power consumption of desktop systems is a definite concern, especially for those who build small form factor and low-noise systems, or for buyers wanting to keep energy costs down. This is the entire basis for the Athlon X2 BE-2350, so we took each of the reference systems, ran the outlet through a Power Analyzer, and then compiled system consumption figures (in Watts) for Idle and Load scenarios. In order to keep the systems and results consistent, we used the same configuration for the AMD and Intel processors as listed on the Test Systems page.
The first test measures the total system power usage when the AMD and Intel processors are set to power-saving mode. For AMD, this means enabling Cool'n'Quiet, while for Intel we had to activate Enhanced SpeedStep. The test was performed after Windows XP had loaded, and all of the various software and hardware components had initialized and a stable power reading became clear. We hear all about Intel and their power mizing designs, but at least at idle, the Athlon X2 BE-2350 is the overall winner at only 93 watts of total system power. The 65nm Athlon 64 X2 4800+ is also impressive, finishing only a single watt higher than the Core 2 Duo E6300.
The second test was also performed at idle, but this time under the same scenario that many power users employ, with the processors operating with no power savings enabled. This is performed by manually selecting the clock multiplier in the BIOS and disabling any BIOS and Windows XP power-saving features. Under this scenario, the Athlon X2 BE-2350 is again the top power saver, checking in at under 100W system usage, just ahead of the Core 2 Duo E6300. Once again, the 65nm Athlon 64 X2 4800+ (rated at 65W) is impressive, and equals the wattage posted by the Core 2 Duo E6700.
The third test changes the operating conditions from Idle to Load, and the SANDRA XI Multimedia CPU benchmark pushes processor usage to 100%, while ensuring that no extraneous hard drive or peripheral activity artificially ramps up the power consumption rates. The results using SANDRA are also incredibly consistent, with the wattage numbers remaining stable through the entire test. Now that the processors are humming at peak usage, the numbers start to follow along with core speed and design for the most part.
This test marks the only defeat for the Athlon X2 BE-2350, although it finished only a single watt higher than the Core 2 Duo E6300. This is still an extremely good result for an AMD processor, and note the difference between the 65nm Athlon 64 X2 4800+ and its 90nm brethren.
Please keep in mind that these numbers relate to total system power consumption, of which the CPU is only one part. In evaluations like this, relative placing is more important than the base numbers, which can change based on the platform mix. We tested this with a mainstream component list (on both sides), and naturally, overall consumption will be lower with entry-level dedicated graphics, mATX motherboards and basic DDR2.