IDF 2009: Clarkdale and Arrandale - Power consumption and HD video support checked
Behind closed doors at the IDF Intel showed several systems with the forthcoming 32 nanometer CPUs Clarkdale (desktop) and Arrandale (notebook). Thus we were able to check the power consumption of the processors and the HD video capabilities of the integrated graphics unit.
Since the integrated graphics unit of the new Clarkdale dual-core processors has a low power consumption the new 32 nanometer CPUs are supposed to be suitable for systems with an low overall power consumption: At the IDF Intel showed us a Clarkdale system with a mini ITX motherboard and Windows 7. When running in idle mode (Windows desktop) the system needed only 24.8 watt. For comparison: The attached Dell display already required 40.5 watt. When an Intel employee started the Cinebench R10 the power consumption of the system grew to 69.6 watt - which is still quite low. The graphics processing was handled by the integrated unit of the processor.
This on chip graphics unit support all important HD video formats (H.264, VC-1, MPEG-4) and thus lowers the CPU workload for example during Blu-ray playback. Furthermore the chip offers a picture in picture feature for appropriate Blu-rays and the system is also capable of uncompressed Dolby True HD sound. At the IDF Intel demonstrated the Blu-ray playback and according to Power DVD the bitrate was varying between 25 and 32 MBit/s and the sound was delivered in uncompressed Dolby True HD format - the movie was running smoothly all the time, even with picture in picture.
Furthermore Intel showed us the driver options of the integrated graphics unit. It allows, indifference to what can be seen on the pictures, to activate Anti- Aliasing and up to 16:1 Anisotropic Filtering.
Finally Intel presented two notebooks: one with a Penryn (Core 2) and one with the forthcoming Arrandale processor - which will have an integrated graphics unit like the Clarkdale, two cores and is produced in 32 nanometers. Due to AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) support and most likely due to superior calculation power the Arrandale system finished a Winzip operation noticeably faster than the older system. A Winzip version with AES support is supposed to become available soon.
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