Originally Posted by abf
Keep in mind Athlon is 82w and 62w while turion is in the 30w range thus battery life is much better on the turions.
Not as much as you might think. I'm typing this on my Athlon 64 3400+ 62w machine. The quoted wattage number is the maximum amount of power the processor can consume, at full frequency and load. (Actually, it's that amount padded by 25%, per AMD policy. That's a good thing, too, because my power brick is only rated for 60W!)
That value is important because any chassis design has to be prepared to dissipate that much heat, because the processor is theoretically capable of producing that much. However, the processor doesn't use anywhere near that amount of power on battery. My machine is running on battery right now, and ACPI reports that it's using just under 20 watts -- for the entire system, 15.4" screen, disk, memory, wireless, and dedicated GPU included.
What's important for battery life is the amount of power used at low frequency, not at full load (unless you're concerned with battery life while gaming, but few people are).
The Athlon 64 uses lots of power (62W) at full load, but scales WAY back at low frequency. (The reason the Pentium 4 is fatally flawed as a laptop chip isn't just the fact that it uses so much power at full frequency, it's that it can't scale its power use back like the Athlon 64 can.) The Turions, meanwhile, use much less power at full load (35w or 25w), but only scale back to about the same level as the Athlon 64.
As a comparison, with a good battery (mine is shot, long story which is my fault) my machine would get slightly over 3 hours of battery life. (65 watt-hour battery divided by 20-21 watts system power usage gives slightly over 3 hours). It is a 15.4" widescreen with dedicated graphics (Radeon 9600).
The new Turion machines, the Acer Ferrari and the MSI 1029, have the same size battery, dedicated graphics that use about the same amount of power, and the same size screen. Their battery life has been quoted as 3 to 3.5 hours, so they're apparently using about as much juice as my Athlon 64 machine.
However, they're significantly thinner, since their cooling system doesn't have to be able to dissipate 62w of heat from an Athlon 64 at full frequency and voltage -- the Turions use much less when running at full speed.
While the Turions may use slightly less power running on battery than the Athlon 64, it doesn't make that big of a difference for system battery life.