Ancient AMD Athlon 64 Beats Intel Atom While Using Less Power A few years ago, AMD was the king of performance per watt with its K8 architecture, while Intel kept pushing the Pentium 4 faster and hotter, until it basically had to chunk its NetBurst architecture . So this is something of a nostalgia trip for AMD fanboys: In Tom's Hardware's tests , a 1GHz Athlon 64 2000+ using the years-old K8 architecture "beats the Intel Atom 230 in energy consumption and processing power" and "outperforms [it] in several benchmark tests" even though the Atom chip is running at 1.6GHz chip. How? In part, because the K8 architecture is just damn good, but also because AMD's 780G desktop platform is more modern—so it has more features too—while the Intel 945GC chipset is old and busted. The AMD system is quieter too, because it doesn't even need a cooling fan. So while the 8-watt Athlon 64 2000+ processor technically uses more power, the AMD system on the whole consumes less than the Intel setup, idling or under a full load. AMD winning at something—between this minor victory and ATI's latest on top of the world , it's almost like the good ol' cutthroat days again. Almost. [Tom's Hardware ]