Intel processor with the lowest wattage for Desktop PCs?

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware, Devices and Accessories' started by Boscus, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. Boscus
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    Boscus Newbie

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    Hello guys, long time lurker new user here.

    Just thought I'd post this here because I'm helping a friend of mine look for the most energy efficient Intel processor out there for desktop PCs. He's not too worried about performance as long as it can handle daily business tasks and whatnot since it's for a work computer. I've searched on Google, and most of the results returned with Haswell. However, we want more opinions regarding this subject, as well as if anyone else thinks there's a more efficient Intel chip.
     
  2. Tom Bombadildo

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    I forgot
    Haswell does indeed have lower power drain than most CPUs, but can I ask why? Is he just trying to work with a really low wattage PSU? Generally, if all this is is a work PC and he's just using...say, 2 sticks of DDR3, 1 HDD, and a CPU, you won't use much more than around 200-250W of power at max output. Unless he's building an ITX PC and has some super small PSU, it shouldn't matter all too much what CPU he uses (so long as it's not some extreme i7 :lol:).

    If he's more inclined to super low power usage, AMDs APUs have some crazy low power consumptions for what they are.
     
  3. trumpet-205

    trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within

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    Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, and Haswell can all have low power consumption if you stick to i3 or below. AMD APU should be ignored unless you need extra GPU power.

    Low power consumption ain't going to do much to reduce power consumption if you use crappy PSU.
     
  4. Boscus
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    Boscus Newbie

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    I'm not exactly sure what he plans on doing with it, other than that he just wants to be as energy efficient as possible. Unfortunately AMD is not an option for some reason, which is why the processor has to be an Intel.
     
  5. Nismax

    Nismax GBAtemp Regular

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    AMD makes quite a few more energy efficient processors than Intel does. I used to run a 25w Sempron 2800, though I have moved onto supposedly 42w Pentium 4. Still bothers me to an extent. The computer draws roughly twice the wattage with the Pentium 4, though it is relatively more powerful.

    Check out the Wikipedia lists of processors find something capable, with the lowest TDP, which is a good benchmark for power consumption of the CPU. Though technically, not what the rating is for. But again, a good benchmark. If the cooling system should be designed to dissipate heat generated at X watts, you can expect roughly that under load.

    With the 25w Sempron, my mATX system was drawing under 100 watts total.
     
  6. trumpet-205

    trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within

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    Ask your friend about. Is it because he has to use a low rated PSU? Or is it because he wants to draw least amount of wattage from the outlet?

    Also it is purely for web browsing and watching video, or will there be some gaming involved too?

    Like I said, unless you are doing gaming, skip AMD APU. AMD APU draws considerably more power from comparable Intel CPU.

    PS. You cannot compare Sempron to Pentium 4. One is a stripped down CPU aimed toward budget user while the other one is a full fledge CPU.
     
  7. Boscus
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    Boscus Newbie

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    From what I remember him telling me, it's mostly to draw the least amount of wattage from the outlet because his company's energy bill was kind of high (he works for a small company and they can't afford an in-house IT).

    EDIT: He wants me to add that the computer will be running Windows 8.1 Pro, with 8GB of RAM. So basically decent performance for the lowest energy usage as possible. Considering it's a work computer, gaming is pretty much out of the question. Videos are a maybe still, but not required.
     
  8. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    8gigs of RAM and 8.1 is not quite low performance/low electrical power territory.

    Anyway if this is energy bill cost rather than limiting the requirements for a generator/battery power might it be an idea to find a slightly older machine that someone is basically giving away and take that off the cost of the energy bill instead?

    Alternatively -- laptops are good stuff.
     
  9. Nismax

    Nismax GBAtemp Regular

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    You can when the comparison is regarding power consumption. Nobody has said anything about what it's being used for. Therefore, a quite capable computer can be built with a Sempron. From that post, I doubt you have any experience using Semprons. It was fully capable of performing the required tasks. Multiple tasks no less with a 75% or so load on the CPU at all times.

    Only reason I switched up was because the Gigabyte motherboard was fried by a faulty power supply, and rather than spend $50 for another one, I bought five brand new Intel 775 boards for about $12 each.

    I actually prefer, and miss the Sempron rig.
     
  10. Boscus
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    Boscus Newbie

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    I made that suggestion before, and he said it's going to be an office PC so it has to be a desktop. His company won't accept machines older than the past two years, so that other option might be kind of hard to come across though. If 8.1 and 8 gigs of ram is mid-high territory, what would be the lowest that can support those?
     
  11. Nismax

    Nismax GBAtemp Regular

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    Not many CPU's newer than two years old are very energy efficient. Good luck with that.

    Sounds like his bosses are pretty ignorant to be honest. Bitching about power consumption, yet demanding the newest technology available. An office PC is an office PC, but they are seemingly demanding high performance gaming computers capable of running the latest in 3d computer entertainment.
     
  12. trumpet-205

    trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within

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    Then Intel Pentium or i3 from Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, or Haswell will do the trick just fine. AMD is out of the question here.

    First of, you cannot compare CPU with two different aims.

    I'll let you know my first CPU is a Pentium II in Slot 1. Over the years I have used P3, P4, Sempron, Core 2, AMD FX, Core i series, and AMD APU. Sempron does exactly what it was designed to do, a stripped down CPU that's okay for web browsing, period. Sempron is for budget user. Comparing them to P4 is pointless. It is obvious that within the same generation P4 will be faster and more power hungry than Sempron. Sempron's competitor is Celeron.

    Power consumption can easily make a difference in business environment. When you add multiple PCs power consumption up even the couple wattages lower per PC adds up.
     
  13. Nismax

    Nismax GBAtemp Regular

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    You're trying to convince me that you're right and I'm wrong, when fact is I used that Sempron 2800 for 3 years straight as a multi-monitor, real time DVR, media player and visualization rig. All running flawlessly at the same time. Which is more than I can say for the Intel. The only budget I was on was a power budget BTW, and the Sempron accomplished the goal.

    And again it's not pointless to make the comparison when the comparison is about POWER CONSUMPTION. A 2ghz Sempron is more than capable of serving as an office computer, which we now know is the desired use.
     
  14. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Yeah, sounds like someone let an accountant among the techs. Though would be delighted to not fix laptops I do have to give it a final push and point out that docking stations exist.

    "If 8.1 and 8 gigs of ram is mid-high territory, what would be the lowest that can support those?"
    It is not really mid-high territory, 8 gigs is possibly even middle of the road these days and even without that I could probably find a motherboard capable taking the lowest end atom but wedging several gigs of gaming grade nonsense in there. It was just when people that know what they want start to ask for 8 gigs without a specific task in mind (not that I know of many CPU low, RAM intense things to be doing these days) that everything else tends to shoot up accordingly.

    On power though I assume they are also going to start running idle timers to turn things off/hibernate, speaking of standby have a look at what the monitors draw in sleep mode. For a lot of what I have dealt with handling that alone is enough to take the sting off a power bill.
     
  15. Originality

    Originality Chibi-neko

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    Just to add, you can get an Intel Core i5-4590T with a TDP of 35W. After that you just need the lowest Wattage motherboard, low voltage RAM, and a very energy efficient PSU.
     
  16. marcus134

    marcus134 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    If you take the time to look at those lists, you'll see that both Ivy bridge and haswell offer 35W cpu for various price.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haswell_(microarchitecture)#Desktop_processors
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivy_Bridge_(microarchitecture)#Desktop_processors

    while the TDP doesn't represent the whole amount of electricity used by a cpu, it's generally a good indication.



    Actually amd offer several apu rated at 25W for the socket AM1 which are lower than anything offered by intel for the desktop
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaguar_(microarchitecture)#Consoles
     
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