Hiper Media Center Barebones PC

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VISTA CHECK

After the successful results with Windows XP Pro, the Seagate Momentus 7200.1 100GB 2.5" drive was replaced with a Seagate Momentus 7200.2 160GB 2.5" drive. The second drive was used to load Windows Vista Home Premium, which features Media Center Edition. The full range of tests was rerun.

Hiper Media Center PC with VISTA: CPU load, AC Power & Noise
Activity
CPU Usage
AC Power
SPL*
dBA@1m
Core 0
Core 1
Average
Off
N/A
N/A
N/A
2W
N/A
Sleep (S3)
N/A
N/A
N/A
6W
N/A
Idle
0~2%
0~2%
1%
~82W
31 dBA
Idle w/ Cool 'n' Quiet
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
31 dBA
Rush Hour 3
(720p-H.264)
30%
45%
38%
88~90W
31 dBA
Coral Reef Adventure (1080p-WMV3)
36%
48%
44%
90~94W
31 dBA
CPUBurn
100%
100%
100%
105W
35 dBA
*SPL is the sound pressure level, measured in "A" weighted decibels with a high sensitivity B&K sound level meter at a distance of one meter.

The power demand went up significantly across the board compared to Windows XP (5~10W on average). At idle, it was 13W higher. Power draw at full CPU load remained the same.

Most functions worked about the same as in Windows XP, but high definition video clips were more easily interrupted by multitasking. The impression is that the residual demand on the system was higher due to Vista's many "instant on demand" features.

It took some investigation to discover, but Cool 'n' Quiet, which worked perfectly in Windows XP Pro, turned out not to work at all with this system in Vista. This was despite the system recognizing the processor accurately and CnQ enabled in the BIOS menus, just as before. Vista has built-in native support for CnQ as well as Intel's EIST processor power management. There is a menu that allows processor power management, as described in the vista4beginners website where the following image originated; the processor power management tab never appeared with our sample.


The processor power management tab never appeared.

Discussions with AMD and Hiper led to the conclusion that a BIOS fix is probably needed to make CnQ work in Vista, but this is unlikely to happen, because MSI has recently discontinued production of this motherboard. So the advice is to stay with Window Media Center (XP version) for best results with the Hiper HMC-2K53A-H2.



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