“We discussed previously exactly what’s involved in a low voltage part, but of course the picture is far bigger than just talking about power requirements. Take for example Intel’s low-voltage Woodcrest parts; they are rated at 40W compared to the regular Woodcrest parts that are rated at 80W. The price premium for upgrading to a low-voltage part varies; in the case of AMD it’s typically anywhere from $100 to $300 per CPU, while on the Intel side some low-voltage parts cost more, the same, or even less than the regular parts (i.e., the Xeon 5140 currently sells for about $450 while the low voltage Xeon 5148 only costs $400). Regardless of price, it’s difficult to justify low-voltage processors in terms of power bill savings.
An extra 40W of power in a device running 24/7 for an entire year works out to around $35 per year, so at the low-end of the equation you would need a minimum of three years to recoup the investment (at which point it’s probably time to upgrade the server). Other factors are usually the driving consideration.”
Here are some more Processor articles from around the web:
- Intel’s 45nm process, a true mark of innovation? @ Hardware Analysis
- AMD Quad-Core Opteron (Barcelona) Technology Report Part 2 Rev. 2.0 @ TechARP
- Neoseeker publishes X3210 Xeon Core 2 Quad Review
- Intel X6800 Core 2 Extreme Dual Core Processor Review @ Tweaknews
- Neoseeker Publishes a Look at Barcelona
AnandTech revisits low power server CPU lines, to see if Intel’s Woodcrest or Clovertown cores offer a change in their previous ratings, which had AMD on top. The cost offset of saving a few dozen watts cannot easily justify spending $50-$100 more a CPU. One of their big questions is how well the move to quad core will help Intel’s efficiency.