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 Post subject: 25 Watt @ Idle Machine
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:02 am 
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Tom's Hardware put together a machine that runs 25 watts at idle:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/25w-performance-pc,2551.html

Its a Core i5-661 undervolted. This seems like a nice starting point for an ultra quiet system. Peak power consumption would allow the use of a Pico power supply. The low amount of heat produced looks like a passive CPU heat sink ducted to the exhaust would be good enough. Just a thought.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:06 am 
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Nice, thanks :)

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:26 am 
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If they were really going for a lower-power system, they'd pick the i3-530. But it's Tom's Hardware, and there's a Clarksdale GPU that's faster than the others, so they used that one, naturally.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:16 am 
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Im wondering if instead of the i5-661 if a i3-530 was used, and then some low power graphics card, say the 5450, was used if the performance could be the same or better while power consumption is the same?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:43 pm 
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Come to thijnk of it, Zotac now has a mini ITX H55 board

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813500043

As for the choice of the 661, its odd as it has a higher TDP than the rest due to its faster graphics clock.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:48 pm 
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I just got the Zotac board today and will get the rest of the components tomorrow. I'm building my dad an HTPC. Any tips on how to measure total system watts?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:54 pm 
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atmartens wrote:
Any tips on how to measure total system watts?

Buy a Kill-A-Watt.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 11:01 am 
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atmartens wrote:
I just got the Zotac board today and will get the rest of the components tomorrow. I'm building my dad an HTPC. Any tips on how to measure total system watts?


We will be looking for it in the Gallery.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:35 pm 
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ilovejedd wrote:
atmartens wrote:
Any tips on how to measure total system watts?

Buy a Kill-A-Watt.

Is there any difference between the $20 and $50 models on Newegg?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:56 pm 
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atmartens wrote:
ilovejedd wrote:
atmartens wrote:
Any tips on how to measure total system watts?

Buy a Kill-A-Watt.

Is there any difference between the $20 and $50 models on Newegg?

Only useful feature for me is the backlight. Other than that, you're just paying an extra $30 for bells and whistles. By the way, I think Newegg has a coupon code for free shipping on the $20 model right now. Just can't remember where I saw it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 8:58 am 
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Ok I'll wait a bit on the Kill-a-watt, I think the discount was a month old.
What do people usually want to see in the gallery?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:43 am 
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Review of the Zotac board at Anand Tech:

http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=3753

As for the gallery, pictures and anything unusual about how the build went together.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:54 am 
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The bios adjustments on the mini-itx boards are all intentionally crippled to present people from doing foolish things like trying to overclock four CPU chips, burning out the board, and then blaming the manufacturer.

One of them, I think it was J W actually went back and upgraded its firmware so that it had less flexibility to prevent that from happening.

Seems like they don't understand that many uses just want to underclock it. That would be safe flexibility to add. But apparently none of them have gotten that message.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:57 pm 
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:lol: i've pulled better out of a dumpster.

no seriously, I have.

But that's a pretty wicked system that they've put together. Sure SSDs would change things, so would a different choice in CPU, maybe even in motherboard, but it definitely shows the difference in PSU efficiency, having the high power, and lower power on the same hardware on one graph.

They could have gotten a PICO and dropped that even more maybe.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 4:22 pm 
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Time to go dumpster diving...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 9:33 pm 
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Electrodacus on this board has a 4 cpu system (I think Q8400s) that I think he has running at some ridiculously low number. Maybe like 17 watts or something like that.

He was not impressed with the Clarkdale chips because the VGA portion eats up a lot of energy. I think he is using a motherboard with a G31 graphic chip that sips power.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 4:41 pm 
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i'm a little surprised at the lacking of this sort of thing.

do multi-cpu Atom boards exist?

I know that a while ago (a couple years ago maybe), there was a head to head comparison between a 16 core Intel Xeon system using nearly 1200 watts vs a new Sun Microsystems UltraSparc system using barely 400W for a similar powered 16 core system.

I remember mentioning the idea when i heard about the atoms coming out, what about a server board with 8 dual core atoms on it? surely that could do pretty damn well.

While power usage has dropped significantly, i think there's been a trade off as well, because of the wants of the consumers. have something low lower, but also be able to use it for gaming as well.

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FartingBob wrote:
A 9500GT with 1GB of RAM is the most pointless thing since NASCAR.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:54 pm 
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bonestonne wrote:
do multi-cpu Atom boards exist?

No. Hmm, is the Atom 330 considered multi-CPU? The two dies are kinda separate...

bonestonne wrote:
I know that a while ago (a couple years ago maybe), there was a head to head comparison between a 16 core Intel Xeon system using nearly 1200 watts vs a new Sun Microsystems UltraSparc system using barely 400W for a similar powered 16 core system.

I remember mentioning the idea when i heard about the atoms coming out, what about a server board with 8 dual core atoms on it? surely that could do pretty damn well.

From benchmarks, I recall seeing the Atom 330 as being equivalent to a Celeron 420 in threaded applications. From there, we can infer that clock for clock, core for core, Core 2 chips perform twice as fast as Atoms. I reckon that difference will only increase when you compare the Atom with the newer Core i-series processors.

You can build a computer with four Atom 330 processors and a computer with a single Core 2 Duo 3.2GHz or Core i3 3GHz CPU and you'll still be getting the same performance. Heck, the Core 2/i3 will likely outperform the Atom since there are many applications that don't scale well with more than 2 cores. Power consumption of the Core 2 might be a bit higher, but the Core i3 will likely have the same power consumption as the multi-CPU Atom build. Probably even less at idle.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:52 pm 
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I set up the Zotac H55 system, and it works fine except for one rather major issue: apparently you can only run video cards through the pcie slot, so the TV tuner that I have (and that worked fine in a previous Zotac board) wouldn't show up in WIndows. A USB tv tuner works ok, but that's still a bummer IMO :x.

You can find the manual here: look at pg 18
"There is one PCIE x16 slot reserved for graphics or video cards."
http://www.zotac.com/index.php?option=c ... 32&lang=us

So I'm not sure why they did this, but it makes it much less attractive as an HTPC. When I have time I'll put a few photos up and all that in the gallery.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:33 am 
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Good morning
I write from Italy and translation with google

Very interesting.
I am also interested in saving energy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 6:47 am 
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atmartens wrote:
I set up the Zotac H55 system, and it works fine except for one rather major issue: apparently you can only run video cards through the pcie slot, so the TV tuner that I have (and that worked fine in a previous Zotac board) wouldn't show up in WIndows. A USB tv tuner works ok, but that's still a bummer IMO :x.

You can find the manual here: look at pg 18
"There is one PCIE x16 slot reserved for graphics or video cards."
http://www.zotac.com/index.php?option=c ... 32&lang=us

So I'm not sure why they did this, but it makes it much less attractive as an HTPC. When I have time I'll put a few photos up and all that in the gallery.

That's one of the reasons I cancelled my Zotac H55 order from eWiz.com and opted for the Intel DH57JG instead. Another issue with that board seems to be TurboBoost not supported for Core i5 6x0 CPUs.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:34 am 
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ilovejedd wrote:
atmartens wrote:
I set up the Zotac H55 system, and it works fine except for one rather major issue: apparently you can only run video cards through the pcie slot, so the TV tuner that I have (and that worked fine in a previous Zotac board) wouldn't show up in WIndows. A USB tv tuner works ok, but that's still a bummer IMO :x.

You can find the manual here: look at pg 18
"There is one PCIE x16 slot reserved for graphics or video cards."
http://www.zotac.com/index.php?option=c ... 32&lang=us

So I'm not sure why they did this, but it makes it much less attractive as an HTPC. When I have time I'll put a few photos up and all that in the gallery.

That's one of the reasons I cancelled my Zotac H55 order from eWiz.com and opted for the Intel DH57JG instead. Another issue with that board seems to be TurboBoost not supported for Core i5 6x0 CPUs.


If you don't run the video card in the pcie slot, where else would you run it? All itx boards have only one slot in which to run a video card.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:25 am 
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ces wrote:
If you don't run the video card in the pcie slot, where else would you run it? All itx boards have only one slot in which to run a video card.

The problem is you can't use the slot for anything other than a video card meaning you'd need external USB or network tuners, etc. The Intel DH57JG supports both video cards and other devices on the PCIe slot so at least you have the option. Not to mention The Intel board is slightly less expensive.

Besides, most people buying those motherboards are probably using them for the Intel GMA HD iGPU on Clarkdale chips. Another thing, afaik, both motherboards don't support processors with TDP > 87W. The specifications for the DH57JG specifically don't include the LGA-1156 quads in the supported CPU list and I've seen a couple of reports regarding the i5-750 not working on the Zotac H55ITX-A-E. For people planning on using discrete graphics, the DFI P55 motherboard is a better option.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:22 pm 
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bonestonne wrote:
i'm a little surprised at the lacking of this sort of thing.

do multi-cpu Atom boards exist?

Intel has instituted artificial constraints on its OEMs as to how much they can do to make the Atom run stronger.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:27 pm 
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ilovejedd wrote:
atmartens wrote:
I set up the Zotac H55 system, and it works fine except for one rather major issue: apparently you can only run video cards through the pcie slot, so the TV tuner that I have (and that worked fine in a previous Zotac board) wouldn't show up in WIndows.


What a disappointment. Maybe they were rushing it out the door and will fis these problems in latter versions.

Also Gigabyte is coming out with an H55 ITX board. Maybe that will be what the Zotac H55 should have been.

I am sort of hoping that it will be easier for them to make the move to Sandy Bridge ITX boards. I am really looking forward to a low TDP four core Sandy Bridge running on an ITX board.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 6:09 pm 
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ces wrote:
Intel has instituted artificial constraints on its OEMs as to how much they can do to make the Atom run stronger.

Uhuh, 'cause spending $80 for a couple of Atom 330's is a better use for your money compared to spending $80 for a Pentium E6500 2.93GHz or a similarly priced AMD Athlon II/Phenom II processors. :roll:

ces wrote:
What a disappointment. Maybe they were rushing it out the door and will fis these problems in latter versions.

Also Gigabyte is coming out with an H55 ITX board. Maybe that will be what the Zotac H55 should have been.

I am sort of hoping that it will be easier for them to make the move to Sandy Bridge ITX boards. I am really looking forward to a low TDP four core Sandy Bridge running on an ITX board.

Pretty sure we'll see some fairly mature mITX boards once Sandy Bridge rolls out. Granted there will probably still be some teething issues but manufacturers are getting practice with current Ibex Peak boards.

I do agree with Zotac seeming to rush releases. A notable example being wake-on-USB not working on their first gen ION and GF9300 boards. They had to release a new board revision to get it to work.

Mini-ITX has come a long way since being the exclusive domain of VIA. It's now become a viable desktop option (price-wise). Used to be, a 780G board will cost you $300. Nowadays, the price premium has dropped to around $20~40.


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