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 Post subject: HM67 chipset (mobile Sandy Bridge) on desktop
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:41 am 
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I've had my eye on this Jetway HM67 mini-ITX board for a little while. The reasoning is that I have an extra mobile i5 processor sitting around, which I pulled from my laptop. But you know, some the mobile quad-core chips aren't too expensive, either, with a bit of waiting and shopping around, and are rated at 45W TDP.

A few questions about this board, though:
  • Would the HM67 chipset be a bit more efficient than H67, or would the difference be pretty insignificant?
  • What about the CPU's - would they actually be more more efficient than similar desktop counterparts? They're clocked quite a bit slower, in general, but Turbo jumps up almost to the higher-end desktop CPU levels.
  • What about the heatsink? I have no clue what hole pattern that Jetway board uses (will try to find out), but something proprietary might be a problem.
  • Tom's Hardware ran an article about Ivy Bridge CPUs being compatible with H67 (and other) boards... Would it be safe to assume that the mobile chips will also be compatible with HM67?

By the way, this is excluding anything to do with the on-chip graphics. I'd be using a PCIe video card.
EDIT: The poster of the first reply had a good question - why even bother with lowering consumption by a few watts, if I'm using a discrete GPU? The answer is that I'm actually more interested in the cooling aspects of this setup and am mostly just curious about the power consumption aspect.
So, to add on to my list of questions:
  • If a fairly big heatsink can actually be mounted on this board, then could the mobile CPU be cooled passively more easily than a desktop counterpart?


Last edited by shleepy on Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:17 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: HM67 chipset (mobile Sandy Bridge) on desktop
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:51 am 
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shleepy wrote:
By the way, this is excluding anything to do with the on-chip graphics. I'd be using a PCIe video card.


Doesn't this rather negate the point of worrying about a few watts here and there consumed by the chipset/motherboard and RAM? What's a discrete card going to pull, 20W+ idle? To my mind it's only really worth worrying about motherboard power consumption if you're using integrated graphics. I'm open to be proven wrong though!

(Genuine question, I'm not trolling or owt!)


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 Post subject: Re: HM67 chipset (mobile Sandy Bridge) on desktop
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:13 am 
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nutball wrote:
shleepy wrote:
By the way, this is excluding anything to do with the on-chip graphics. I'd be using a PCIe video card.


Doesn't this rather negate the point of worrying about a few watts here and there consumed by the chipset/motherboard and RAM? What's a discrete card going to pull, 20W+ idle? To my mind it's only really worth worrying about motherboard power consumption if you're using integrated graphics. I'm open to be proven wrong though!

(Genuine question, I'm not trolling or owt!)


Definitely a fair point/question. You know, I probably should have focused on the cooling differences when phrasing the questions. In theory, the lower TDP of the mobile CPU's may mean that one could use a big-ish heatsink passively.

The power consumption questions are more out of curiosity (though it's related to cooling, as well). For people who might want to use this kind of board without a discrete GPU, one point worth noting is that the mobile CPU's seem to often come with faster onboard GPU's than the low/mid-end desktop processors.


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 Post subject: Re: HM67 chipset (mobile Sandy Bridge) on desktop
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:31 am 
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shleepy wrote:
Would the HM67 chipset be a bit more efficient than H67, or would the difference be pretty insignificant?

TDP of the H67 is 6.1W vs. 3.9W for the HM67. Source
shleepy wrote:
What about the CPU's - would they actually be more more efficient than similar desktop counterparts? They're clocked quite a bit slower, in general, but Turbo jumps up almost to the higher-end desktop CPU levels.

The chip is the same, so clock for clock mobile and desktop parts should use equal amounts of power. The VRMs for the mobile parts are smaller since the boards only support CPUs with a max. TDP of 45W (for the quad core) ,or less likely 55W (for the quad core extreme parts), compared to 95W for desktop quad core.
Between lower clocks and smaller VRMs there should be a few watts of power savings.
shleepy wrote:
What about the heatsink? I have no clue what hole pattern that Jetway board uses (will try to find out), but something proprietary might be a problem.

The mounting holes for socket G2 are 51x51mm. Coolermaster and Cooljag offer coolers, but they are similar to active 2U coolers: small aluminum or copper heatsinks with a 60mm fan on top.
shleepy wrote:
Tom's Hardware ran an article about Ivy Bridge CPUs being compatible with H67 (and other) boards... Would it be safe to assume that the mobile chips will also be compatible with HM67?

No, it is not (ever) safe to assume. While desktop Ivy Bridge CPUs can electrically work in mainboards with a 6 series chipsets they must be supported by the bios. The bios size has to be at least 4MB, if memory serves. It has to hold microcode updates for both Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge CPUs.
Iff the bios is big enough and iff the board manufacturer supplies and update, it will work. (if and only if)
shleepy wrote:
If a fairly big heatsink can actually be mounted on this board, then could the mobile CPU be cooled passively more easily than a desktop counterpart?

Mobile parts have a lower TDP, so yes. The mounting hardware doesn't fit a desktop heatsink, so no.
GPU mounting holes are similar, Ati 3800 through Amd 6800 have a 53x53mm pattern, nVidia 460/560 mounting holes are 51x61mm. With some modding even an older GPU cooler like the Zalman VF900 or the newer Deepcool V400 would provide superior cooling at a lower noise level. For passive operation the Deepcool V400 might do, maybe a modded Arctic Cooling S1 would work.
The Thermalright HR-03 mounts with a bracket that is not attached to it, so in theory it should be easiest to mod. It is big and it has a weird shape for a CPU cooler.
I think the base of a big desktop CPU cooler is too big to fit 51x51mm mounting holes. Maybe the base of the Xigmatek Gaia with 3 heatpipes is small enough?

I've had my eye on that board and for the same reason, too.

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 Post subject: Re: HM67 chipset (mobile Sandy Bridge) on desktop
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:16 pm 
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Take a look at some laptop reviews' battery life/power consumption tests. Seems like a decent i5 laptop uses ~8W idle and 10-12W light use - including the display. Depending on your apps, you can save a lot of juice using laptop guts. Sort of why I'm considering buying an Ivy Bridge laptop next year and using it for an HTPC.

Idle power of current gen video cards is closer to 10W.

The PSU you choose will determine whether it's a power pig or not...

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 Post subject: Re: HM67 chipset (mobile Sandy Bridge) on desktop
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:35 pm 
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Mainstream intel desktop gear can idle pretty low already with an efficient PSU. The difference isn't what it used to be.

boost wrote:
The chip is the same, so clock for clock mobile and desktop parts should use equal amounts of power.

Do you know that for a fact? I know one should be careful when interpreting official TDP ratings but, looking at the whole range of products, they strongly suggest a difference. Don't the chips run at different voltages by default to begin with?


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 Post subject: Re: HM67 chipset (mobile Sandy Bridge) on desktop
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:56 pm 
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Great reply, boost. Thanks a lot!

I had a Pentium-M desktop system back when Intel's mainstream desktop alternative was crappy. The hole pattern was also something non-standard, so I never did get around to changing the cooler out for something bigger/quieter. It doesn't look like the array of options for such setups has improved much since then, unfortunately.

Given that I'm more concerned about making a quiet PC, rather than a super-power-efficient one (as I mentioned, I'd be using a PCIe graphics card), I think I'll focus my research efforts on LGA1155.


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 Post subject: Re: HM67 chipset (mobile Sandy Bridge) on desktop
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 8:16 pm 
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shleepy wrote:
Given that I'm more concerned about making a quiet PC, rather than a super-power-efficient one (as I mentioned, I'd be using a PCIe graphics card), I think I'll focus my research efforts on LGA1155.


Good decision, IMO. If you want a four-core 45W TDP chip to run with a big quiet heatsink, grab an i5-2500T and bolt a big nasty 1155 heatsink to it. Mobile was fun in the P4 era, but now desktop chips are reasonably-designed and the cooling options for mobile sockets are miserable. If you're looking to scrounge every last watt it can still be worth it, but that's out the window with a discrete graphics card.

Please update us with your final parts list and build results!


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 Post subject: Re: HM67 chipset (mobile Sandy Bridge) on desktop
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 11:33 pm 
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HFat wrote:
Mainstream intel desktop gear can idle pretty low already with an efficient PSU. The difference isn't what it used to be.

boost wrote:
The chip is the same, so clock for clock mobile and desktop parts should use equal amounts of power.

Do you know that for a fact? I know one should be careful when interpreting official TDP ratings but, looking at the whole range of products, they strongly suggest a difference. Don't the chips run at different voltages by default to begin with?

You're right. At the same clocks and at the same voltages there shouldn't be a difference in power consumption. And no, I don't know, just an educated guess.

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 Post subject: Re: HM67 chipset (mobile Sandy Bridge) on desktop
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:05 am 
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Scrooge wrote:
If you want a four-core 45W TDP chip to run with a big quiet heatsink, grab an i5-2500T and bolt a big nasty 1155 heatsink to it. !


Oh, wow - I didn't even know about the T version of that CPU. That's very cool.


I'm not in too much of a hurry for a new build, in general (need to focus on SELLING stuff, first), but I definitely might give the 2500T a go, and then upgrade to Ivy Bridge next Spring/Summer. You'll probably see more of my annoying information/opinion-seeking threads in the coming weeks. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: HM67 chipset (mobile Sandy Bridge) on desktop
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 6:17 am 
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Make sure the mobo says it is compliant with the Ivy Bridge changes.

How much horsepower do you need between now and next summer? Seems a waste to buy an i5-2500T now and dump it 6-9 months later. Maybe there is a lower priced cpu that'll meet your need for upgrade and not have to spend $220.

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 Post subject: Re: HM67 chipset (mobile Sandy Bridge) on desktop
PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:50 pm 
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While it doesn't matter in this case because, again, the OP is planning on using a dedicated GPU, I want to add that one consideration is the mobile CPUs use HD3000, while the i5-2500T uses HD2000. In some cases that could matter.


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 Post subject: Re: HM67 chipset (mobile Sandy Bridge) on desktop
PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 4:24 am 
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Why would you want to go with mobile SB? There are low TDP parts for desktop.

BUT... you can also pick a relatively cheap 65W/95W part and undervolt/clock it. Unless of course, you have very rigid power requirements.

3) I doubt that board is going to be "future-proof".

4) New Intel cpus are due to release in Spring 2012. In fact, major manufacturing has already started. Supposed to be even more power-efficient than the current line-up. No point to make big investment at this point, unless you run a contest or something.


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 Post subject: Re: HM67 chipset (mobile Sandy Bridge) on desktop
PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 5:59 am 
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1337 wrote:
Supposed to be even more power-efficient than the current line-up.

They definitely will be more efficient. Even if the new power-saving feature doesn't deliver, the CPUs have been shrunk so a higher efficiency is a given.


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 Post subject: Re: HM67 chipset (mobile Sandy Bridge) on desktop
PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 6:30 am 
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HFat wrote:
1337 wrote:
Supposed to be even more power-efficient than the current line-up.

They definitely will be more efficient. Even if the new power-saving feature doesn't deliver, the CPUs have been shrunk so a higher efficiency is a given.

That's right. Supposedly, the top part is 77W TDP rated (down from 95W). Quite likely, the 7X chipset will have native USB 3.0 support as well. So the less.. 3rd-party chips used > the better overall power consumption. Makes sense to wait IMO.

I don't know how AMD is going to compete with that.

P.S. If you have friends in the US, make them pick up locally parts at Micro Center. They have very good deals on either platform.


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 Post subject: Re: HM67 chipset (mobile Sandy Bridge) on desktop
PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 5:20 pm 
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1337 wrote:
Quite likely, the 7X chipset will have native USB 3.0 support as well. So the less.. 3rd-party chips used > the better overall power consumption. Makes sense to wait IMO.


Have there been any estimates for how much power the currently-popular 3rd party USB 3.0 controllers use? I'm curious about that. I wonder if speed or reliability will also be improved...


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