I was thinking about possible configurations for a PC with a low power consumption, which does not compromise performance (which means no Intel Atom
-based system). I have three configurations in mind. Besides low power consumption, size of the system, price and of course noise levels are also important criteria. Prices are taken from a popular Dutch price comparison website.
Option 1: Socket P barebone = â‚¬ 560
To my surprise I haven't been able to find more than two barebone systems which have a socket P motherboard. They are the AOpen miniPC Duo
and the Transtec Senyo 610
. I don't think that the Senyo 610 is a good deal, because you can build a more powerful sytem based on the AOpen miniPC Duo MP965-D for â‚¬ 560. That would include an Intel Core 2 Duo T8100, 2 x 1 GB PC2-5300 RAM (SO-DIMM) and a Hitachi Travelstar 5K250 250 GB hard disk. Unlike AOpen though, Transtec mentions some figures on their website for power consumption, 25W in idle and 35W under load (although those figures are for the standard configuration, not the more expensive configuration with the T8100 I have my eyes on). The Transtec Senyo 610 has a 65W power supply, the AOpen miniPC Duo has a 90W power supply. And soon we should see the release of Intel Montevina
platform hardware, which is accompanied by the Core 2 Duo P8400
, which has a 25W TDP instead of it's similarly priced predecessor â€“ the Core 2 Duo T8100
â€“ with it's 35W TDP. So in the near future hardware should be available for socket P barebones which should feature even less power consumption.
Option 2: mATX AMD 780G-based system with 45W TDP AMD CPU = â‚¬ 255
This configuration consists of an Antec NSK3480 enclosure, a Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H mATX motherboard with the 780G chipset, an AMD Athlon X2 4850e CPU with 45W TDP, 2 x 1 GB PC2-5300 and a 320 GB Samsung SpinPoint F1 hard disk. This configuration is certainly the cheapest, but it's power consumption would be a lot higher, according to SPCR's test
the system would consume 36W at idle, and somewhere between 60W â€“ 100W at load. That's a lot higher than the socket P barebones, even though my guess is that it wouldn't really be noticeable on the electricity bill.
Option 3: HP Compaq 6820s notebook = â‚¬ 630
According to the specifications
this notebook has a 17 inch monitor, so it could serve as a desktop replacement. It also has the same Core 2 Duo T8100, and unlike the barebones I mentioned it comes with WiFi and Bluetooth included. Being a notebook, of course it also comes included with a monitor, keyboard, speakers and everything else which makes it a complete system. This notebook also has a 90W external power supply, so power consumption should probably be identical to the barebones. I'm not sure if it's an advantage that it comes with everything included, I think I'd prefer a separate 20 inch monitor and a separate mouse and keyboard. However, when I compare the price of this notebook with the barebones which have nearly identical hardware, it seems like the barebone manufacturers are overcharging incredibly. Probably this notebook would be the best compromise between power consumption, price and size.
The bottom line is that the the notebook seems like the most attractive choice, but a mini PC barebone with socket P could be a better choice because it allows you to choose the CPU, RAM and hard disk, and because it is more suitable if you prefer to connect it to a separate monitor, keyboard and mouse.
My question is, does anyone know why there seem to be so few socket P barebones or motherboards available? And why are they so ridiculously expensive compared to notebooks or hardware which doesn't work with mobile CPU's?