Zotac GeForce 9300-ITX WiFi: Good Things Come in Small Packages

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TEST RESULTS

Our test system is fairly basic, featuring a Core 2 E7200, a 65W TDP mid-level dual core processor cooled by an Arctic Cooling Alpine 7 Pro connected to a variable DC fan controller so the fan's power draw does not come into play. The rest of the system consists of a single stick of Corsair memory, an Asus Blu-ray drive, a 5400RPM notebook hard drive and an OEM Seasonic 400W power supply. The operating system used is Vista Home Premium SP1 (32-bit).

Test Results: E7200 @ 2.53 GHz, EIST
Test State
Mean
CPU
Peak
CPU
System Power
Off
N/A
2W
Sleep (S3)
N/A
3W
Idle
N/A
35W
Rush Hour
(H.264)
7%
14%
40W
Coral Reef
(WMV-HD)
34%
44%
44W
Drag Race
(VC-1)
56%
68%
51W
Disturbia
(Blu-ray H.264)
32%
47%
49W
CPU Load
N/A
64W
CPU + GPU
Load
N/A
65W

The GeForce 9300-ITX's power consumption was fairly moderate during testing, idling at 35W and maxing out at 65W with both the CPU and GPU being stressed. Oddly the addition of a GPU load to the CPU load barely made a difference in power draw. Video playback was flawless as one would expect with a powerful IGP and a Core 2 Duo processor.

System Power Consumption Comparison
Test State
Intel
DG45FC
GeForce 9300-ITX
Asus
P5N7A-VM
Idle
35W
35W
41W
Rush Hour
(H.264)
~42W
~40W
~45W
Coral Reef
(WMV-HD)
~43W
~44W
~49W
Drag Race
(VC-1)
~47W
~51W
~53W
CPU Load
64W
64W
67W
CPU + GPU Load
65W
65W
68W

The Zotac 9300-ITX was more or less on par with Intel's G45-powered mini-ITX board, the DG45FC in terms of power consumption. There was some slight variation during video playback, but otherwise the two were very similar, both idling at 35W and topping out at 65W when the CPU and GPU were put under stress. Compared to the Asus P5N7A-VM, a microATX board using the same GeForce 9300 chipset, Zotac's board is slightly more efficient, with a 6W improvement when idle, and 3W on load.

WiFi

We used the board's WiFi module to download 100 MB or so of Vista updates and it gave us a consistent 4 bars of signal strength throughout at a distance of about 25 feet from our lab's wireless 802.11g router. We did not notice any disconnections or other abnormalities during the brief time we tested the wireless functionality. The module's power consumption was also very low, adding only 2W to the system's idle power consumption. By comparison, the unit that came with Zotac's GeForce 8200-ITX WiFi increased power draw by 5~6W. This is even more frugal when you consider that we've seen USB 802.11g adapters burning up 10~15W.



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