Atom energy efficiency champ: Intel D945GSEJT w/ Morex T1610 fanless case

Cases|Damping | Complete|Mobile Systems | CPUs|Motherboards
Viewing page 5 of 5 pages. Previous 1 2 3 4 5

FINAL THOUGHTS

The Intel D945GSEJT Atom-embedded board is a product that will be welcome by SFF PC enthusiasts. Its reason for existence is the low power/thermal profile, and very slim physical profile made possible by the mobile 945G chipset. This board is likely the low power champ of x86 computing today.

It's interesting to note that the D945GSEJT was preceded by products from Intel's partners, such as the Asus Eee Box B202, which combined the Atom processor and the mobile 945G chipset a whole year before. There are a few complete ultra SFF PCs (of about 1-liter volume) other than the various Asus Eee Box models competing in the same space. Two examples are the Lenovo IdeaCentre Q100 and the Acer AspireRevo AR1600-U910H, both of which use an Atom 230 but paired with a non-Intel GPU/chipset — SiS 307DV for the Lenovo and the nVidia ION LE for the Acer. Given the pricing, a combo DIY Intel D945GSEJT kit such as that examined here faces stiff competition from these ready-mades. We know without a doubt that the ION GPU is far superior to the Intel 950, although its power demand is higher. Less is known about the SiS 307DV, but unlike the D945GSEJT/Morex T1610, the Lenovo Q100 has a much fuller array of ports. One final point is that the price of the complete systems includes at least Windows XP.

Atom system comparisons
Product
Intel D945GSEJT + Morex T1610
Asus Eee Box B202
Acer AspireRevo AR1600-U910H
Lenovo IdeaCentre Q100
CPU
Atom 270
Atom 230
Atom 230
Atom 230
GPU/chip
Intel 945G
Intel 945G
nVidia ION
SiS 307DV
RAM/
512mb
1gb
1gb
1gb
HDD
160gb
80gb
160gb
160gb
USB
3
4
6
6
multi card reader
no
yes
yes
no
Video
VGA, DVI
DVI
VGA, HDMI
VGA
WiFi
no
802.11 b/g/n
no
no
Passive cooling
yes
no, but quiet
no, said to be quiet
yes
Market $
Oct 09
$261*
$262~299
$199~299
$230~299

This comparison casts the Morex T1610 case in a relatively poor light. The absence of front panel ports or multi card reader finds it wanting against the ready-mades, at least for home/media PC use. The passive cooling and the high power efficiency of the included Seasonic AC adapter are nice, but from a system integrator or DIY point of view, passive cooling is easy to achieve with the D945GSEJT board, and the Seasonic is probably available separately at a modest price. Still, the T1610 is the smallest DIY case for mini-ITX available on the market today, and this counts for something. The asking price of $65 is not onerous, either.

Going back to the D945GSEJT, Intel's promotional brochure says it is

ideal for entry-level or secondary home entertainment, small- to medium-sized businesses, call centers, and a host of innovative applications such as infotainment devices, kiosks, and home surveillance.

Given the widespread distribution of HD video, including HDTV, the qualifiers "entry level or secondary" for the first suggested function, entertainment, are very important. For those seeking good HD video playback with Atom, nVidia ION chipset appears to be the only viable option today. Much better yet is almost any discrete CPU mini-ITX board — let's face it: Atom + GMA 950 is barely capable of 720p. For all the other functions, the new board is emininently suitable. In the Morex T1610, hung on the back of an inexpensive LCD monitor, it would be a fine choice for lots of office/business applications. In the right case with the right peripherals (such as a SATA or RAID expansion card), it could make a small, capacious, energy efficient and highly effective file/media server.

Intel D945GSEJT board
PROS

* Lowest power consumption
* Affordable
* Fanless
* 12VDC power input, built in DC/DC conversion
CONS

* Poor onboard graphics
* Slow CPU
* Only 2 SATA ports


Morex T1610 w/ 60W Seasonic adapter
PROS

* Fanless but effective cooling
* Affordable
* High efficiency adapter
* VESA monitor mount included
CONS

* No front panel ports or features

Our thanks to Intel for the sample kit.

* * *

Articles of Related Interest
Intel D945GCLF Atom board
Zotac GeForce 9300-ITX WiFi
Intel DG45FC: Loaded LGA775 Mini-ITX Board
Asus Eee Box B202
Zotac IONITX-A: An ION / dual-core Atom Mini-ITX Board
Asus Eee PC Seashell 1005HA netbook
Intel D201GLY2 Mini-ITX mainboard
Albatron KI690-AM2: A Mini-ITX Powerhouse

* * *

Discuss this article in the SPCR forums.



Previous 1 2 3 4 5

Complete|Mobile Systems - Article Index
Help support this site, buy from one of our affiliate retailers!
Search: