Results: Fallout 3, Far Cry 2, and PowerFallout 3
This DX9 based game recently received an update in the form of New Vegas, but I decided to use the original as it is a good example of the type of game that an integrated graphics chip can handle (or at least hope to). Quality settings were put to the “Medium” preset, with the resolution at 800 x 600. No AA or AF was enabled. A manual runthrough of the area directly outside the vault was captured by FRAPS.
The VN1000 again comes up strong against the 880G. Fallout 3 with these quality settings is not exactly pretty, but it is playable.
Far Cry 2
For the final gaming benchmark I chose Far Cry 2. This is a highly configurable game based on a cutting edge DX 10 engine. It also has a really nice benchmarking utility built into it. DX10, medium settings, 800 x 600, and no AA/AF were enabled for the Ranch-Long test.
This is certainly a surprise. While none of the setups gave playable results at these settings, we see the VN1000 more than hold its own against the 880G. In fact, the minimum frame rates were double that of the 880G and nearly matched that of the 890GX.
Things are a bit interesting here. First off, as mentioned before, the sample Nano DC I have is the 65 nm engineering version. It will not be offered for sale. Instead, it will be the 40 nm version, and it will have significantly better thermals and power draw than what I have now. Secondly, the underclocked Athlon II X2 does not have any of the power saving features enabled due to having to lower the multiplier and locking it. But at least at load, we can get a good idea where AMD’s current low power processors are sitting at.
When the 40 nm Nano 2 version comes out, we can expect a good 15 to 20 watts less at the wall. I am sure that we will soon see some Ontario/Zecate results in the near future, so it will be good to keep these in mind. Results were taken at the wall, so it includes the entire system sans monitor.
The idle draw on this chip is not much smaller than the Athlon II X2. This is not entirely surprising, as the Athlon II clocks down to 800 MHz, cuts power pretty dramatically, and really does not pull all that much. Also we need to add in the power supply efficiency, especially when working with such low loads. Typically most power supplies that are not running at least 25% load will have pretty poor efficiency as compared to its rating.
Throwing in a smaller, more efficient power supply, along with the final 40 nm part and a finalized board and BIOS/software support, I would not be surprised to see idle numbers around 25 watts to 30 watts with this setup.
At load the 65 nm Nano 2 takes a very significant lead in power efficiency over both AMD options. Again, we would expect another 15 to 20 watts cut off this number when a 40 nm processor is in use. Factor in the inefficiency of the power supply, and we are looking at a final product that could be hitting 50 watts at load at the wall.