Zotac IONITX-P-E: First CULV-embedded Motherboard

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POWER CONSUMPTION

Test Results: System Power Consumption (AC)
Test State
Seasonic SS-400ET
picoPSU-120 + 60W brick
Sleep
2W
2W
Idle
27W
20W
x264 Playback
32W
26W
CPU Load
38W
32W
CPU + GPU Load
47W
41W
Note: testing was conducted with the WiFi adapter enabled, but not connected.

For a simple system based around a low power motherboard with an integrated CPU, a DC-to-DC converter with an AC to DC power adapter is typically a superior choice to a full-sized ATX or SFX power supply. A picoPSU with only a 60W adapter powered our IONITX-P-E test system with room to spare and without adding any extra noise. It was also a more efficient choice than the SS-400ET, an 80 Plus OEM unit from Seasonic, as it consistently consumed 6W less during various test states.

ION System Comparison: Power Consumption (AC)
Test State
Asus EB1501 (Atom 330 nettop)
Zotac IONITX-P-E (SU2300 board)
Zotac IONITX-A (Atom 330 board)
Zotac ZBOX HD-ND22 (SU2300 nettop)
Sleep
2W
2W
2W
1~2W
Idle
20W
20W
22W
23W
x264 Playback
28W
26W
N/A
28W
CPU Load
27W
32W
27W
32W
CPU + GPU Load
39W
41W
34W
44W
IONITX-P-E powered by picoPSU.

The picoPSU makes our IONITX-P-E test system competitive with the Asus EB1501, an Atom/ION nettop, and gives it a slight advantage over the ZBOX HD-ND22 and IONITX-A when idle. The IONITX-A is similar board with a dual core Atom 330 CPU instead of a CULV chip and DDR2 which is more power hungry than DDR3. All four devices use similar power supplies, though there may be some slight efficient differences between them. However even if you added a few watts to the IONITX-P-E's results, such a small difference is of little consequence when battery life isn't an issue.

VIDEO PLAYBACK

Comparison: Video Playback
Test State
Zotac IONITX-P-E
Zotac ZBOX HD-ND22
Avg.
CPU
System Power (AC)
Avg.
CPU
System Power (AC)
Rush Hour
(H.264 10mbps)
9%
24W
8%
25W
Coral Reef
(WMV-HD 8mbps)
12%
24W
9%
25W
Spaceship
(x264 14mbps)
17%
26W
17%
28W
Crash
(x264 22mbps)
21%
27W
19%
29W
Iron Man
(Flash 2mbps)
24%
25W
23%
26W
BD: Disturbia
(H.264 33mbps)
21%
32W
N/A
BD: Jane
(VC-1 36mbps)
25%
31W
N/A
IONITX-P-E powered by picoPSU.

Our video playback tests show similar CPU utilization between the IONITX-P-E and comparable ZBOX as expected, but our test system used slightly less power on average. The CULV/ION combination has no trouble with Blu-ray playback.

PERFORMANCE

Comparison: Performance Benchmarks
System
Atom 330 (DIY)
ZBOX HD-ND22*
Asus UL30A
CPU
Atom 1.6GHz
Celeron 1.2GHz
C2D 1.33GHz
NOD32
18:38
12:59
11:05
WinRAR
6:49
6:00
5:27
iTunes
20:30
9:07
8:02
TMPGEnc
15:38
12:54
10:22
PCMark05
2011
3322
3452
*Same specs & performance as IONITX-P-E

We opted not to run our usual performance benchmarks on the IONITX-P-E, as the specifications are identical to the ZBOX HD-ND22. The dual core Celeron SU2300 holds up very well against the Core 2 Duo CULV in the Asus UL30A, and it dominates the Atom 330.

Subjectively Windows 7 is a much smoother experience on the IONITX-P-E than on the Atom 330 setup. On an Atom based system, we prefer not to run any OS more resource-intensive than XP or Linux.

WiFi

The included WiFi adapter has an Atheros chipset which used an extra 2W in our test system when logged into a network. Disabling the adapter altogether saved 1W. With the board 25~30 feet and a wall away from our 802.11n route, we managed to transfer a 1422MB file in a approximately 6:28 which averages out to about 29.3mbps. This was almost twice as fast as the disappointing radio in the ZBOX HD-ND22, but only about 70% the speed we coaxed out of the dual antennae adapter on the Zotac H55-ITX-C-E, a premium LGA1156 board.



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