Gigabyte GA-F2A85XN-WIFI Mini-ITX Motherboard

CPUs|Motherboards | Do-It-Yourself Systems
Viewing page 8 of 9 pages. Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Next

Energy Efficiency vs. Intel

Aside from the processor, our Intel and AMD mini-ITX test components are identical and therefore ideal for a direct comparison. The two chips used also have similar power envelopes. The Core i5-2500K and A8-5600K are rated for 95W and 100W respectively.

The two platforms are roughly in the same ballpark when it comes to power consumption. If you discount Blu-ray playback, the AMD configuration performed slightly better under light loads. Under heavy loads, the Intel combination had some compelling victories when running real-life, non-synthetic applications.

In-System Test

To give our readers an idea of what to expect with regards to heat and noise, we installed the F2A85XN-WIFI into an average sized mini-ITX case for, the SilverStone Sugo SG05, and conducted some thermal and acoustic tests. The case's stock FSP 300W SFX power supply and 120 mm fan are both relatively quiet. To keep noise down further we used a Corsair Force GS SSD, a newer, more energy efficient APU, the 65W A10-6700, and a high quality low profile cooler, the Noctua NH-L9a.

System assembled. The case's drive was misplaced so the SSD was mounted to a modified expansion slot cover.

The SG05 measures 22.0 x 27.6 x 17.6 cm or 8.7 x 10.9 x 6.9 inches (W x D x H).

System Measurements
System State
H.264/MKV Playback
TMPGEnc Encoding
CPU Load
CPU Fan Speed
1030 RPM
1650 RPM
CPU Temp
Chipset Temp
HDD Temp
GPU Temp
20 dBA
20 dBA
23 dBA
23 dBA
System Power (AC)
System fan speed: 900 RPM (full speed).
Ambient temperature: 23°C.

Building a quiet and cool running mini-ITX system is obviously a bigger challenge than a spacious microATX/ATX configuration but with the right components, it's not particularly difficult. Our system was fairly quiet regardless of what actions it was performing. At idle and during H.264 video playback, I cranked the CPU fan speed to as low as SpeedFan would allow; the resulting noise level was a respectable 20 [email protected] and all the internals were operating at comfortable temperatures. It could have been much lower if we had slowed down the system fan but as the board can only control PWM models, I felt it was fair to leave it as is. For my load tests, I adjusted the CPU fan speed to 1,650 RPM in an attempt to keep the temperature under 70°C. Video encoding and Prime95 bumped the output to 23 dBA but the noise level was certainly bearable and the pitch/tone was not unpleasant. I did not perform our standard CPU + GPU load test as our A10-6700 chip throttles the CPU to keep the APU within its designated power envelope causing similar power and thermal measurements as the CPU load test alone.

The peak power consumption was 106W AC but assuming 80% efficiency, the DC power draw was about 85W. This system could easily have been powered by a silent DC-DC power supply with a 120W brick.

Gigabyte will be sending us an equivalent Intel mini-ITX motherboard in the near future so we can make a direct comparison of environmental properties between the two platforms.

Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Next

Do-It-Yourself Systems - Article Index
Help support this site, buy from one of our affiliate retailers!