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 Post subject: Asus E35M1-M Pro: AMD Fusion Motherboard
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:41 pm 
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http://www.silentpcreview.com/asus-e35m1m-pro


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 Post subject: Re: Asus E35M1-M Pro: AMD Fusion Motherboard
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:03 am 
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Thanks for the comprehensive review.

So I guess the short answer is : Wait for the next version ?


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 Post subject: Re: Asus E35M1-M Pro: AMD Fusion Motherboard
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:10 am 
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victorhortalives wrote:
So I guess the short answer is : Wait for the next version ?

We're a lot more positive than that. If you compare in context to Atom or Atom/Ion boards, it's generally a better/cheaper/more full featured alternative. For the smaller-is-better gang, there are also mini-ITX versions we will soon be reviewing.

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 Post subject: Re: Asus E35M1-M Pro: AMD Fusion Motherboard
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:11 am 
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Are the PCI/PCI-E slots shared ? Can i put a PCI-E card in the x16 slot and still use the PCI slots. Can i use the integrated graphics while having a non-graphics card in x16 slot ?


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 Post subject: Re: Asus E35M1-M Pro: AMD Fusion Motherboard
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:13 am 
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Just a couple of corrections (you wouldn't expect any less from the resident Spelling/Grammar Nazi-wannabe!) :twisted:

The board ships with a terrible-sounding fan with tonal tendencies. It started at about 1900 RPM (18~19 dBA@1m) when we set the fan control mode to"Standard."
(you forgot to add a space between "to" and "Standard", at the last paragraph of page 7)

Though the 6310 is basically a cut down version of AMD's Radeon HD 5450, we consider it more of a a high-end integrated GPU rather than a low-end discrete video card.
(duplicate "a")

However, given the speed of the CPU (which may actually limit the GPU), the two portions of the APU compliment each other well.
(I assume you mean "complement", as I doubt they can compliment each other, being non sentient and all :) )


And happy 1500th post to me! :)

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Last edited by rpsgc on Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:29 am, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Asus E35M1-M Pro: AMD Fusion Motherboard
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:15 am 
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It's more expensive than regular Atom boards (which have less features of course).

Thanks for the review. It's the most objective-sounding and of course the best I've read so far.

Any plans to review an Ontario board? I don't know that any such board is available at this point but I've seen at least one announcement.


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 Post subject: Re: Asus E35M1-M Pro: AMD Fusion Motherboard
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:45 am 
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I'd be interested in what the power figures are for other boards - when I was last looking, Asus tended to draw more power than others. That was more fully fledged mboards, but Asus did seem to come out top fairly consistently. As you say though, definitely interesting for a low power server / htpc.


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 Post subject: Re: Asus E35M1-M Pro: AMD Fusion Motherboard
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:20 pm 
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What is the case over a product liek this over a 35 watt sandy bridge/ivy bridge i3. You get similar video and much better processing with only slightly more power consumption and money.


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 Post subject: Re: Asus E35M1-M Pro: AMD Fusion Motherboard
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:43 pm 
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goatsandmonkeys wrote:
What is the case over a product liek this over a 35 watt sandy bridge/ivy bridge i3. You get similar video and much better processing with only slightly more power consumption and money.

afaik, your price comparison is off. i3-2100T is something like $140, and an Asus 1155 mtx board like the one we reviewed is (was) $140. That's more like double the price. If you hunted around for best prices, you could probably get a combo for maybe $220~240. That's still $80~100 more, which is a lot for a budget box.

And, you could ask the same question of many Atom or Atom/ION boards.

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 Post subject: Re: Asus E35M1-M Pro: AMD Fusion Motherboard
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 2:28 pm 
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Maybe ION board prices will finally come down...

On second thought, I don't think I could invest in ION, seeing as it's pretty much outclassed by this. Nevertheless always good to see more ITX options. I've considered upgrading a LGA775 setup to ION, or even a Zotac GF9300 board, but I just find them too expensive for what you get. You can also take into account the cost of DDR2 versus DDR3 right now, and it doesn't seem worth investing in DDR2 at almost 2x the cost of DDR3. DDR3 also gives me upgradability to 8GB very easily, an important aspect with ITX seeing as they only have 2 dimm slots. All in all, I think H55 ITX is the way to go. ECS makes a $80 board, and I think I can get a hold of a i3 530 for just under $100 ;-). I'm usually a step behind, so SandyBridge is a tad too new/expensive for me =P.


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 Post subject: Re: Asus E35M1-M Pro: AMD Fusion Motherboard
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 2:29 pm 
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I assume the graphics are using Catalyst drivers and software? I recently found out via Tomshardware that the Catalyst software has a bunch of video processing options, similar to the post-processing that you could when decoding H.264 in software.

While all video cards are fast enough to decode H.264 in hardware, the interesting thing is (according to that link at least) not all video cards can handle all the video processing options. Tomshardware says the HD 5450 is not fast enough for "Edge enhancement" and "Enable dynamic contrast," and lacks deblocking and finer noise reduction settings. In fact they needed all the way up to a HD 5750 to enable all of the video processing options. I think this is interesting because conventional wisdom is that an HD 5450 (or any budget DXVA-capable card) is "good enough" for an HTPC.

I wonder where the E-350 comes out in that respect? Is all of the video processing offloaded to the GPU? If the GPU isn't fast enough to do some of the more advanced processing, is there a mechanism for letting the CPU do some of the work? (since it's not doing anything else during video playback anyway)

Were some of these video processing options enabled in your test? If so, I wonder if you would get lower CPU/power consumption from disabling some video processing settings.

I don't know what effect these video processing options have on actual perceivable video quality. But in the future, there needs to be a way to standardized these kind of comparisons. You can't really say one system is "less efficient" at H.264 playback if in fact those extra CPU cycles and watts are actually doing additional video processing. I also think it would be a much more interesting test of H.264 playback to see what post-processing options are supported, rather than simply whether it plays back smoothly or not. This should be particularly relevant for this new generation of low-power, media-oriented platforms.


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 Post subject: Re: Asus E35M1-M Pro: AMD Fusion Motherboard
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 3:24 pm 
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Hazelrah wrote:
While all video cards are fast enough to decode H.264 in hardware, the interesting thing is (according to that link at least) not all video cards can handle all the video processing options. Tomshardware says the HD 5450 is not fast enough for "Edge enhancement" and "Enable dynamic contrast," and lacks deblocking and finer noise reduction settings. In fact they needed all the way up to a HD 5750 to enable all of the video processing options. I think this is interesting because conventional wisdom is that an HD 5450 (or any budget DXVA-capable card) is "good enough" for an HTPC.
The needs for HTPC would differ from user to user. Video purists like myself prefer to have more or less all video processing options disabled. In many HTPC environments the video will be fed into a dedicated a/v processor/receiver which would in turn handle all upscaling and processing. This is interested to hear though because I have to admit I assumed cards like the 5450 would be capable of handling those sorts of features.


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 Post subject: Re: Asus E35M1-M Pro: AMD Fusion Motherboard
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 3:47 pm 
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i believe this is the first review that has used an appropriate psu so thanks :D

power numbers are about 5w higher in idle and load compared to the engineering sample which sucks. so much for driver and efficiency improvements.

the mini itx gigabyte e350n-usb3 is available on newegg for an extra $10. honestly i'm disappointed with the prices, its should be cheaper to make than ion but costs the same, maybe cause it's new?


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 Post subject: Re: Asus E35M1-M Pro: AMD Fusion Motherboard
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 6:20 pm 
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Thanks Mike.

I have 2-questions.

1.) What version of Flash was installed.? I have to ask, because the latest version of Flash has better hardware acceleration, and works with the GPU in the Fusion APU's, and it has only just come out.

http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/new ... player-102

http://blogs.adobe.com/flashplayer/2011 ... aunch.html

2.) I am interested in the new UEFI (BIOS), they are supposed to boot much quicker than a traditional BIOS, is this the case.?


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 Post subject: Re: Asus E35M1-M Pro: AMD Fusion Motherboard
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 6:49 pm 
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Hazelrah wrote:
While all video cards are fast enough to decode H.264 in hardware, the interesting thing is (according to that link at least) not all video cards can handle all the video processing options.

Doesn't that depend on the resolution? What resolution are we talking here?


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 Post subject: Re: Asus E35M1-M Pro: AMD Fusion Motherboard
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:05 pm 
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Falkon wrote:
The needs for HTPC would differ from user to user. Video purists like myself prefer to have more or less all video processing options disabled. In many HTPC environments the video will be fed into a dedicated a/v processor/receiver which would in turn handle all upscaling and processing. This is interested to hear though because I have to admit I assumed cards like the 5450 would be capable of handling those sorts of features.


I know where you're coming from, but in my experience AV receivers are a lot more flexible at manipulating audio than video. Yes many AV receivers can do upscaling and can do it well, but usually your only option is to turn that function on or off. You don't usually get the option to choose your upscaling method, adjust sharpness/blur, etc. So there are still those who swear by ffdshow and do all their upscaling in software because of the additional flexibility.

It is also worth considering that future hardware-accelerated decoders might have even more post-processing options than now, in which case you might be able to get even better upscaling/processing through a faster video card and not have to upgrade your receiver.

In an ideal world all of our video would be Blu-Ray quality or better and would look great with no upscaling or postprocessing. But the reality is we still watch a lot of Youtube videos, Netflix streams, badly compressed digital TV signals, etc. Again I don't know if any of these processing settings actually make a difference in perceived quality, but for low bitrate stuff the potential is certainly there.


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 Post subject: Re: Asus E35M1-M Pro: AMD Fusion Motherboard
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:58 pm 
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victorhortalives wrote:
Thanks for the comprehensive review.

So I guess the short answer is : Wait for the next version ?

Yeap...In 2012. :)
* AMD C- and E-series (Ontario/Zacate) will be replaced by Krishna/Wichita.
* 28nm bulk manufacturing process. (Down from the current 40nm bulk process.)
* 2- or 4-core configurations. (Compared to current 1- or 2-core configurations.)
* Enhanced-Bobcat cores. (AMD's words.)
* Improved IGP. (VLIW5 to VLIW4 architecture?)

Dual-core today? Or quad-core in a year's time? You decide. ;)

Image
Image

Image
Image

Overall, AMD's 2011 line-up is like this...
C-series => 9W Fusion APU
E-series => 18W Fusion APU
G-series => Embedded versions of the above two. (Industrial/OEM specific solutions.)
A-series => Mainstream Fusion APU. Replaces current Athlon II X2/X3/X4 lines.
and
FX-series => Desktop Bulldozer-variant.
==> Vision Black FX = 8-core (4-module) version.
==> Ultimate Vision FX = 4-core (2-module) and 6-core (3-module) versions.

No more Sempron, Turion, Athlon, and Phenom marketing names.


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 Post subject: Re: Asus E35M1-M Pro: AMD Fusion Motherboard
PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 10:38 pm 
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MikeC wrote:
afaik, your price comparison is off. i3-2100T is something like $140, and an Asus 1155 mtx board like the one we reviewed is (was) $140. That's more like double the price. If you hunted around for best prices, you could probably get a combo for maybe $220~240. That's still $80~100 more, which is a lot for a budget box.

That's not the end of it. With a low-power mITX board (I don't know what's available for uATX), I gather you could buy an open case + fanless PSU combo for $60-$80 in the US. You can't do that with a mainstream CPU because you'd need a more powerful PSU. And you'd need a huge heastink and/or (more) fans. The costs add up...


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 Post subject: Re: Asus E35M1-M Pro: AMD Fusion Motherboard
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:20 am 
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stmok wrote:
victorhortalives wrote:
Thanks for the comprehensive review.

So I guess the short answer is : Wait for the next version ?

Yeap...In 2012. :)

Overall, AMD's 2011 line-up is like this...
C-series => 9W Fusion APU
E-series => 18W Fusion APU
A-series => Mainstream Fusion APU. Replaces current Athlon II X2/X3/X4 lines.


This review was of a E series APU. The wait for the next version crowd will be looking for the A series review. And we know that is in 2011 not 2012.

It's the A series that will compete with the Celerons and i3 CPUs of the world. And you can bet someone will put A series APU (CPU+GPU) on a microATX board. No reason not to.

Before then you can also look forward to reading about the E-Series on Mini-ITX boards from Sapphire, Gigabyte, MSI, ASRock and eventually Asus.

And for the quick refresher on form factors
Code:
ATX          12"  x 9.6" aka 305mm x 244mm
microATX     9.6" x 9.6" aka 244mm x 244mm
Mini-ITX     6.7" x 6.7" aka 170mm x 170mm
Nano-ITX     4.7" x 4.7" aka 120mm x 120mm
Pico-ITX     3.9" x 2.8" aka 100mm x  72mm


And if you don't think someone will cram a full size desktop CPU in a Mini-ITX board just take a peek at
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/mainbo ... html#sect0 to see socket AM3 squeezed in there.

Anybody know of the top of their head which CPU socket the A-Series fusion chips will use? Is it AM3+ or something else?

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 Post subject: Re: Asus E35M1-M Pro: AMD Fusion Motherboard
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:45 am 
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Quote:
Is it AM3+


Yes, note the +

AM3+ mobo's should appear a little before the CPU's, as much as anything else to stir up some interest, and of course it is backward compatable with AM3 CPU's (but not AM2), so there might be a surge of reviews of AM3+ motherboards using AM3 CPU's before the arrival of AM3+ CPU's (Llano codename, it has tweaked "Stars" core's attached to a GPU, memory controller etc)

Its DDR3 all round, I believe that the official support is 1,333 and 1,600 (although I am not certain about the 1,600 as being "officially" supported), the high-end CPU's coming out at the end of the year (true Bulldozer's, the long awaited totally new core design) will support 1,866 DDR3 RAM.


Andy

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 Post subject: Re: Asus E35M1-M Pro: AMD Fusion Motherboard
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:43 am 
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Thanks for the interesting review.

How good (or bad) is the integrated sound ? I'm still using only Stereo, and may actually move down to AV-30 or AV-50 speakers. Is the integrated soundcard good enough, or will I have to add an audiophile soundcard in the one lone expansion slot ?

I'm currently using a regular stereo with a 15-year old Onkyo amp and $1.500 (at the time) JMLab speakers. I have noticed huge differences from motherboards' integrated sound circuits, that don't seem to follow any rules: Asrock good enough, Asus and MSI catastrophic... but that was on different MBs, a handful of models only, and a while back.


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 Post subject: Re: Asus E35M1-M Pro: AMD Fusion Motherboard
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:42 pm 
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You could use a USB soundcard (I hope some ports are compatible with USB1 devices) instead of using a slot. I don't have a golden ear but I think they can be quite good.


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 Post subject: Re: Asus E35M1-M Pro: AMD Fusion Motherboard
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:36 pm 
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Ok am I understanding this correctly? It seems that in terms of power consumption this actually performs worse than Sandy Bridge?

I am comparing this page from SB micro ATX mobo review
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1143-page5.html
to this page from the review at hand
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1167-page5.html

And at the same time the SB setup performed much better in games... so not very good efficiency :\

Therefore, how will this enable AMD to win the mobile market? Can't Intel simply make a SB derivative to go into netbooks that are currently powered by Atom or Celeron?


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 Post subject: Re: Asus E35M1-M Pro: AMD Fusion Motherboard
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:59 pm 
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discussed in length here http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=61118&p=533579#p533579

summary:
sb numbers are estimated dc, fusion is ac.
looking at picopsu efficiency, fusion dc numbers should be about 13w idle, 23w cpu load, 30w cpu/gpu load.


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 Post subject: Re: Asus E35M1-M Pro: AMD Fusion Motherboard
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:19 pm 
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DaRuSsIaMaN wrote:
Ok am I understanding this correctly? It seems that in terms of power consumption this actually performs worse than Sandy Bridge?
Yes. Isn't that amazing!

DaRuSsIaMaN wrote:
I am comparing this page from SB micro ATX mobo review
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1143-page5.html
to this page from the review at hand
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1167-page5.html
I think that says it all.

DaRuSsIaMaN wrote:
Therefore, how will this enable AMD to win the mobile market?
Fanboys? But they are in limited supply. AMD Fandoys that is. There is about $100 difference between the Fusion and SB in total system price. That will be dropping to about $30 when the SB dual core chips issue next month. For anyone who actually pays for software, and maintains only one or two computers... it just doesn't make sense to buy a crippled fusion when for a few bucks more you can get a much more powerful and flexible system that can be used in more ways and will more easily adapt to future versions of windows without bogging down.

DaRuSsIaMaN wrote:
Can't Intel simply make a SB derivative to go into netbooks that are currently powered by Atom or Celeron?
You would think? It seems like that is what they are about to do.

Let's see what happens with the 2 core Sandy Bridges coming out in the next month or two... followed by 2 and 4 core Ivy Bridges nine or ten months later.

Seems to me that AMD as a CPU manufacturer is dead meat walking. And this is not good for anyone but Intel.

They are the only ones that keep Intel honest in the desktop space. If Intel is able to kill them off as a competitor, innovation will drop and prices will rise. Though Intel is getting their but kicked in the smart phone and ipad space. So they still have to worry about AMD being replaced by much more agile, aggressive and innovative competitors.

Interesting times.

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 Post subject: Re: Asus E35M1-M Pro: AMD Fusion Motherboard
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:23 am 
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Are we looking at the same graphs ?

I'm seeing Sandy Bridge using about twice as much power with CPU/GPU load, and about the same at idle or video. My take is:
- if you're not going to use to CPU/GPU much anyways, why pay more for Sandy Bridge ? For a silent NAS/torrent/HTPC box, E350 makes sense.
- if you're going to use the GPU/GPU, AMD does need significantly less power. But is significantly less powerful. For a very cheap Office/Web/Media machine, E350 also makes sense.


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 Post subject: Re: Asus E35M1-M Pro: AMD Fusion Motherboard
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:18 am 
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ces wrote:
Fanboys? But they are in limited supply. AMD Fandoys that is. There is about $100 difference between the Fusion and SB in total system price. That will be dropping to about $30 when the SB dual core chips issue next month. For anyone who actually pays for software, and maintains only one or two computers... it just doesn't make sense to buy a crippled fusion when for a few bucks more you can get a much more powerful and flexible system that can be used in more ways and will more easily adapt to future versions of windows without bogging down.

I'm not seeing what you see. If we look at Clarkdale (since SB currently isn't available), the lowest priced dual-core + mITX motherboard (since most of the Zacate's will be ITX), you're looking at a little over $100 each for the CPU and MB. Currently on Newegg, GIGABYTE GA-H55N-USB3 = $105 + Intel Core i3-550 = $130 --> $235. I don't really see the dual core SB being any cheaper than the dual core Clarkdale. And Intel isn't known for dropping prices of their old CPUs. (See the C2D 8400. Same price it was 2 years ago still) So I don't expect that SB will ever be only $30 more than Zacate. Only way you'd get that is with a lower-end MB. But currently Zacate is only available from ASUS and Gigabyte which are not budget boards themselves. So I wouldn't be surprised to some of these budget boards around $120 or less maybe.


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 Post subject: Re: Asus E35M1-M Pro: AMD Fusion Motherboard
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 7:04 am 
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Thanks for the review, Lawrence!

Is it time to start looking for/using a lower power PSU for these low power systems...or one with higher efficiency at the low end? Or, perhaps characterizing the current SS-400ET at lower than 20W DC? I think idle power measurements are getting overwhelmed by the PSU...and the slope of the PSU efficiency curve is very steep in this range.

It seems like we're stuck at a plateau for idle power on these lower end systems. Part of it is the setup and part of it is the feature-rich mobo's. It'd be nice to understand the power cost of the components beyond the CPU/GPU/HDD/RAM.

For good or bad, I use the Mac Mini as the gold standard for idling at 8W AC...ok, it's laptop guts in a small form factor - but, so is the Zotac SU+ION.

Anyway, it'd be nice to see if there is a way to get to lower idle power without resorting to oddball PSU solutions, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Asus E35M1-M Pro: AMD Fusion Motherboard
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:34 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2004 12:00 pm
Posts: 3302
Location: Essex, England
Quote:
Is it time to start looking for/using a lower power PSU for these low power systems...or one with higher efficiency at the low end?


I second that.

Personally I would like to see a review of the Antec ISK100 (inludes a 90W power brick, and DC/DC circuitry inside the case), what we dont know is how efficient is the power brick at these low loads, and how efficient is the included DC/DC board, especially at these low loads. I would expect a PC to be built using a single 4GB stick of RAM and a single 5,400 RPM drive to use 30W - 33W (AC) under max CPU + GPU load assuming the brick and DC/DC board are efficient.

http://www.antec.com/Believe_it/product.php?id=MjUwNg==

Not least, because I am certain that the the Gigabyte GA-E350N-USB3 mITX motherboard would be cooled perfectly by the included 100mm case fan (on low) without the fan that comes attached to the board being present.

http://www.gigabyte.com/products/produc ... id=3681#ov

Therefore making a low power, single fan PC that would be perfect for many people who simply dont need the performance of other systems.


Andy

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 Post subject: Re: Asus E35M1-M Pro: AMD Fusion Motherboard
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:06 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:27 am
Posts: 1727
Location: Switzerland
There are cases which come with bricks rated for 60W such as the Morex cases SPCR reviewed with a some of Intel's Atom boards. There's also an 80W pico. And many other products I assume...
For mITX gear, check out logicsupply.com.

With an appropriate case and if high temperatures are acceptable to you, a fan might not be required. Does anyone know what temperatures the manufacturers recommend?


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