The new AM3 Phenom II X3/X4 processors have a pretty good TDP (peak wattage) compared to the last flagship products. The tested Phenom II X4 810 and X3 720 processors have a fair TDP of 95 Watt (95 Watt peak, when all 4 cores in the processor are 100% utilized and stressed).
Much like the last-gen products, we have four active & independent cores here. Each core can be clocked down independently if not utilized, saving heaps of current. If the processors are temporarily inactive, they can pretty much put themselves in sleep-mode (clocking down). Hyper Transport will power down and a low-power stage is activated on the memory.
AMD's Cool'n'Quiet technology has been updated to revision 3.0 and provides even better power management. Keywords here are improved power tuning with additional performance states, and up to 50% less power at idle compared to Cool'nQuiet 2.0
As a result we notice our test platform peaked at roughly 170 Watts power consumption when we stress the CPU cores. Our system however idles merely at 80 to 90 Watts (integrated graphics processor used, not a dedicated one). As Paris Hilton would say, that's hot.Power Consumption Idle 100% CPU loadAtom 330 | P45GC 43 56Athlon X2 7750 BE 94 170Phenom II X3 720 BE 83 166Phenom II X4 810 85 170Phenom II X4 940 89 189Core 2 Q6600 100 159
Example: an 790GX based AM2+ motherboard with the Phenom II X4 810 and no dedicated graphics card installed (using integrated GPU), will idles at 85 Watt (power management activated, CPU throttles down). If we take that same configuration, yet now we stress the four CPU cores with Prime95 (stress test), our power consumption maxes out at 179 Watts. Once you add a dedicated graphics card to this configuration you'll see a increase of power consumption of roughly 50 Watts on average.
So, the CPU stressed shows fairly normal power consumption, and clocked down when idling it's actually pretty good.