Intel DG41MJ: Affordable 775 Mini-ITX

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TEST RESULTS

Our test system is fairly basic, featuring a Core 2 E7200 (65W TDP) 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 1GB of Corsair memory (128MB assigned to video 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
Test State
Mean
CPU
Peak
CPU
System Power
Idle
N/A
35W
Rush Hour
(H.264)
32%
45%
~42W
Coral Reef
(WMV-HD)
24%
35%
~41W
Drag Race
(VC-1)
36%
45%
~46W
Disturbia
(Blu-ray H.264)
71%
93%
~54W
CPU Load
N/A
64W
CPU + GPU
Load
N/A
65W

Our DG41MJ-based system was fairly energy efficient, idling at 35W and using up to 65W on full load. It also passed all of video playback tests with ease with the exception of Disturbia, a H.264-encoded scene played from an actual Blu-ray disc source. It played smoothly, but CPU usage was high, 71% mean and 93% peak. We fiddled with our system by increasing the amount of system/video memory and using different software players but nothing we tried improved performance on this particular clip. We surmise this is the result of the X4500 IGP lacking variable length decoding.

Comparison: G41 vs. G45 vs. GF9300
Test State
Intel
DG41MJ
Intel
DG45FC
Zotac
GF9300-ITX
Idle
N/A
35W
N/A
35W
N/A
35W
Rush Hour
(H.264)
32%
~42W
30%
~42W
7%
40W
Coral Reef
(WMV-HD)
24%
~41W
25%
~43W
34%
~44W
Drag Race
(VC-1)
36%
~46W
40%
~47W
56%
~51W
Disturbia
(Blu-ray H.264)
71%
~54W
N/A
32%
~49W
CPU Load
N/A
64W
N/A
64W
N/A
64W
CPU + GPU
Load
N/A
65W
N/A
65W
N/A
65W

The board's power consumption was right on par with the DG45FC, with only negligible differences. CPU utilization during video playback was also similar, though we tested the DG45FC before we added an actual Blu-ray scene to our video test suite so we can't compare the two in that regard. The Zotac GeForce 9300-ITX used 5W more during VC-1 playback, but 5W less during Blu-ray playback, probably due to its full hardware acceleration support for H.264.



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