VIA Artigo: A Pico-ITX System

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TEST RESULTS

Power Consumption & Video Playback

Test Results: VIA Artigo
Test State
Mean
CPU Use
Peak
CPU Use
System Power
Off
N/A
2W
Standby
N/A
8W*
Idle
N/A
14W
Dark Knight
(720p H264)
100%
20W
Rush Hour
(1080p H264)
100%
20W
Coral Reef
(1080p VC1)
100%
20W
Undead Battle
(720p x264)
100%
20W
Spaceship
(1080p x264)
100%
20W
CPU Load
100%
21W
CPU + GPU Load
100%
22W
*Failed to enter S3 (suspend-to-RAM) standby properly.
Grey boxes indicate test failure.

The Artigo used only 14W idle and just above 20W on full load measured from the wall. Suspend-to-RAM however did not function properly — the system's fan continued to be active after being put into Standby, and power consumption was an unusually high 8W.

Video playback was abysmal. The system failed to render any of our standard test clips properly, no matter what combination of players, codecs, and filters were used. They all exhibited significant stuttering, out-of-sync audio and dropped frames, making them unwatchable. As the onboard graphics does not support hardware acceleration for H.264 or VC1 content, these clips were rendered primarily by the C7 1GHz processor, which proved inadequate.

The Artigo's performance and power draw was compared with two low power computers based on the Intel Atom 270 processor.

VIA Artigo vs. Atom based PCs
Test State
VIA Artigo
Asus Eee
PC 1000H
Asus Eee
Box B202
Off
2W
1W
1W
Standby
8W*
1W
1W
Idle
14W
13W
16W
Dark Knight
(H.264 720p)
20W
17W
22W
CPU Load
21W
16W
22W
CPU + GPU Load
22W
20W
25W
*Failed to enter S3 (suspend-to-RAM) standby properly.

Compared to Intel Atom based PCs with similar hardware (5400 RPM hard drive and 1GB RAM), the Artigo's low power draw suddenly doesn't seem so amazing. The (Atom 270 based) Eee 1000H laptop was more power efficient, especially with the CPU under load. The Eee Box, required about two watts more on average. Keep in mind, both Eee's have to power extra peripherals including a WiFi adapter and memory card reader. In addition, both Eee products successfully rendered our H.264 720p video test clip, something the Artigo failed to accomplish.



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