Albatron KI690-AM2: A Mini-ITX Powerhouse

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Test Results

CPU Usage & Power Consumption
Test
Mean CPU Usage
AC Power
Consumption
Core 0
Core 1
Average
Off
N/A
N/A
N/A
2W
Sleep (S3)
N/A
N/A
N/A
4W
Idle
N/A
N/A
N/A
32W
HD in Full Bloom (H.264)
23%
28%
25.5%
~45W
Rush Hour 3 (H.264)
37%
38%
37.5%
~53W
Coral Reef Adventure (WMV3)
40%
59%
49.5%
~57W
Flight Simulator X (WVC1)
88%
88%
88.0%
~68W
CPUBurn
N/A
N/A
N/A
85W
The Seasonic SS-300SFD 80 Plus power supply used is approximately 82% efficient at 51W AC input and 84% efficient at 77W AC input.

The CPU was called on heavily during VC-1 playback, while H.264 was less demanding. All the test clips played smoothly - even the WVC1 clip when CPU usage approached 90% on both cores. The Flight Simulator X trailer was encoded with a mind-boggling 60 frames per second, so this was not all that surprising nor disappointing. Paired with a decent dual core processor, high definition playback does not appear to be an issue for the KI690 except for the most demanding and heavily compressed VC-1 formats. We used Windows Vista on our testbed and experienced no difficulties, but using Windows XP may be problematic for VC-1 playback. We received an e-mail from Albatron which in short, stated that due to a driver issue, VC-1 audio playback is broken when using XP, with no fix in the works.

Power consumption with our run-of-the-mill 3800+ X2 CPU was fairly low: 32W idle (with Cool 'N Quiet enabled), 85W during CPUBurn, and under 70W during video playback. These numbers were about what we expected. When turned off or in Sleep mode (there was no Standby or Hibernate option in Vista when using S3 suspend) used minimal power, probably due to the high efficiency of our power supply at lower wattages. We would have liked the opportunity to see if the system could do better than 32W but underclocking and undervolting options are absent in the BIOS and there is no way to do it manually in Vista (that we know of). One of the lower 45W TDP processors from AMD (the 1.9GHz BE-2300 and the 2.1GHz BE-2350) would naturally have helped drop the power consumption; alas, our single BE-2350 sample was engaged in another project that could not be interrupted at the time of testing.

HDMI Output

We wanted to utilize the board's HDMI connector to see how well it displayed on a HDTV. Unfortunately we did not have a proper HDMI cable for testing (strangely enough we had a HDMI to DVI and a DVI to HDMI adapter) so we cannot confirm whether audio through HDMI functions properly. The video portion however worked flawlessly and looked stunning on a Sony Bravia 40" 720p LCD. The native resolution of 1366x768 was not supported by the driver, but 1280x720 was more than acceptable.

The Vista desktop in normal lighting conditions.

The Rush Hour 3 trailer in normal lighting conditions.

The Vista desktop in low light.

HD in Full Bloom in low light.


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