It is currently Thu Apr 24, 2014 2:08 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Advice for a low-power mini-itx PC
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 5:09 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 2:32 pm
Posts: 99
Location: Mexico
I have plans to build a new PC for general use (mainly word processing, web surfing, photo editing, some music, some low profile games and (rarely) some videos. Also dvd and cd ripping. No blue-ray.
This PC will substitute my current rig, Athlon II x 2 (not bad at all, but a bit slowish in some tasks)
The main goal is to combine a very good performance and nearly silence, with the minimum possible power consumption, as the PC will be on most of the day. A wattage (idle) in the range of 20-30w would be fine. This is the reason I prefer mini-itx and 2.5” hdd.
Also I would not to spend a fortune in this rig.

CPU: Core i3 2100 - $ 179

Motherboard: ECS H67H2-I-B3 - $117
[http://www.pcenlinea.com/mp/74045.html]

Memory: Kingston HyperX blu DDR3, PC3-10600 (1333Mhz) CL9 (2 x 2 gb) - $67

HD: WD Scorpio Blue 500GB, 5400 RPM - $ 83

Case: Pixxo CI-9E8C Slim (mini-itx) - $ 54
[http://www.pcenlinea.com/mp/72943.html]

PSU: Pico-psu 120 + external power brick 12v-120w - no cost, I have them spare
(the Pixxo case include a 450w psu, but I suspect it will be noisy, so I will swap it with a pico)

OS: Windows XP or 7 – no cost, I have them

*no DVD-RW (I have an external one, usb)
**prices traduced from mx pesos to us dollars (1 usd = 12 mxp).
I will buy all my components from Pc Online, a very good store based in Monterrey (maybe the best in Mexico).

I would much appreciate any advice before send my order.

_________________
My current rig:
Athlon II x2 240 Regor @ 2.8ghz | Gigabyte 785g (GA-MA785GM-US2H) | Picopsu 120-wi + generic power brick 120w 18.5v |HDD 2.5" 250gb Fujitsu | 2 x 2 gb Kingston DDR2 800 | Dvd-RW Samsung|+ monitor LED Acer 21.5"
Wattage: PC is 30W Idle, 45W Fully Loaded | LCD is 13W


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Advice for a low-power mini-itx PC
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:16 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 1575
Location: Guatemala
Personally i would only go for another mobo, out of the PSU connector is right next to the memory, not sure if it will allow you to install the picoPSU, in my case the 150XT has some big caps in front that wouldnt allow it, here is a pic, there are other mobo that come with the PSU connector away from the memory, check the following boards,

ASRock H67M-ITX LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard
H67M-ITX/HT LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard
ASUS P8H67-I DELUXE (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard
GIGABYTE GA-H67N-USB3-B3 LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard
Intel BOXDH67CFB3 LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard (this would be my chioce for efficiency)

_________________
DESKTOP >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4770K | Thermalright HR-22 + TY150 @550rpm | Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme III | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @225rpm | SeaSonic X-660
Other builds -->> Server | HTPC | Download Station


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Advice for a low-power mini-itx PC
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:39 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:27 am
Posts: 1696
Location: Switzerland
You can probably get serveral of these components considerably cheaper, if not in Mexico then across the border (maybe someone can forward them to you).

I agree with Abula: if you want low power consumption, the Intel board is probably the best bet.

mITX and a 2.5'' drive won't materially reduce power usage (compared to low-power 3.5'' drive). Replacing the case's PSU with a pico will make a much larger difference in power consumption for instance.
A faster drive would make a real difference in performance which is why people like SSDs.

You shouldn't use two DIMMs if you want to save power. Depending on the photo editing you do, you don't have much use for 4G unless you want to setup a RAM drive.

There are cheaper Sandy Bridge CPUs which should consume a little less power if you don't care for the features they lack compared to the 2100.
It seems like you aren't getting a discount for your CPU so you might have access to a version that consumes less power like the 2100T for little more. The difference in power consumption is small so it doesn't make sense if you care for computing power (you probably don't, seeing that your drive will be the bottleneck for most tasks).


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Advice for a low-power mini-itx PC
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:20 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 2:32 pm
Posts: 99
Location: Mexico
Thanks to Abula and Hfat, very helpful advices.

Abula: I did not notice the close it is the PSU connector to the ram module in the ECS mobo, probably not enough space to fit a picoPsu (but maybe could fit with a PSU extension).
Your list of mobos is very useful, and I agree the Intel one is probably (as usual) the more frugal in power consumption. However, the store from wich I wish to buy has not those mobos in existence. I have to find them elsewere, maybe in ebay.

HFat: unfortunately for mexicans, the hardware prices in Mexico are usually 20% or more higher than in USA. I don't live near the border, so my best option is to buy directly from ebay (newegg dont ship to Latin America).
I choose mini-itx not only for power usage but also for personal preference for tiny forms (I think they are nicer). As for the hdd, are you sure it exist a 3.5" with power consumption as low as an 2.5"? I discarded ssd for the high prices. I know, 5400 rpm is a bottleneck in performance. If I can find a 3.5" hdd with low power consumption maybe I could decide to swap the mobo and the case for a micro-atx form.
Which (cheap) sandy bridge cpu has a lower power consumption than i3 2100? (except for the 2100t, that is pricer).

Thanks again.

_________________
My current rig:
Athlon II x2 240 Regor @ 2.8ghz | Gigabyte 785g (GA-MA785GM-US2H) | Picopsu 120-wi + generic power brick 120w 18.5v |HDD 2.5" 250gb Fujitsu | 2 x 2 gb Kingston DDR2 800 | Dvd-RW Samsung|+ monitor LED Acer 21.5"
Wattage: PC is 30W Idle, 45W Fully Loaded | LCD is 13W


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Advice for a low-power mini-itx PC
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:33 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:27 am
Posts: 1696
Location: Switzerland
The price you quoted for the 2100 is a lot more than 20% more compared to what people are paying in the US. I think RAM is also a good bit cheaper than that. I don't know the current prices for 500G 2.5'' drives.

You'll see here that the power consumption of drives vary quite a bit: http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1181-page6.html
Sure, a 3.5'' will consume more than a 2.5'' but relatively to power consumption of the whole system, not much more. If you can find the single-platter version of the WD which consumed less than 3W, you come close to the less efficient 2.5'' drives. It'd be cheaper than a 2.5'' drive with the same capacity of course, and more reliable too.

SSDs are not all that expensive (well, maybe they are in Mexico). If you need 500G of storage, the idea is obviously to get a small SSD plus a hard drive, not a huge SSD to replace the drive.
Depending on your what your bottlnecks are and your admin skills, you could also get a performance boost on the cheap by using two regular 2.5'' drives instead of one.

The cheaper CPUs are called G620 and G620T I think. Again, any improvement in power consumption is going to be slight. The main point is that they're cheaper.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Advice for a low-power mini-itx PC
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:54 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:19 am
Posts: 400
Location: Boston, MA, USA
Just a thought: Abula had told me in another thread that he uses a shipping service to order off Amazon:
Abula wrote:
andymcca wrote:
does Amazon ship to Guatemala?
I have tried multiple times to buy from newegg, and the problem is they dont take international credit cards, i use a USA based freight forward company so newegg only has to take the card and ship it inside the us, but they don't care about international orders and block anything that isn't US based. For a long time i have been buying in other places like zipzoomfly, allstarshop, mwave, etc, but in recent years Amazon has stock almost everything in PCs, and with 3rd party sellers and paypal i don't need newegg anymore, there are still special cases like i want make a server with Fractal Design R3, and only see it on newegg, but i think in time other sellers might stock it or even amazon, so ill wait.

I still have ways to buy from newegg, like my freight forward company is USA based and seeing how people couldn't buy from certain places they applied for creditcard in the US, so if i need something i just go to them (here in guatemala) give them a link of the product, and pay upfront + fee for using their service, this i do use in case something is urgent, but as i said, Amazon has been great to me, specially having Prime all gets to me in less than a week, also with Paypal accepting Guatemalan based Credit cards, this open a lot my options, i now can buy easily from most of the boutique kinda cooling places, like fronzencpu, performancepc, etc. So atm i can buy almost anything regarding PCs, still i would love to see newegg change their policy toward none US based creditcards, as they have good prices, and a lot of times get the products first, but my options are much wider this days to care.


Don't know if this changes your ordering considerations? (Maybe a shipping service would be cheaper than the prices quoted above?)

_________________
Currently running Mint 14 MATE on all machines.
Desktop/Gaming: E8400 / 650ti + Accelero S1 / Antec Solo
Myth Backend + Home Server: D945GSEJT / WD15EADS / Hauppage 950Q / Home made case
Myth Frontend + HTPC: Sempron 140 / Asus M4A785-M
Notebook:AMD A4-3300M


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Advice for a low-power mini-itx PC
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:12 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 2:32 pm
Posts: 99
Location: Mexico
thanks Andymcca, very helpful advice

I did a research and I found that Amazon send a lot of stuff outside USA (you have to check patiently item by item). [*note: Amazon accept foreign credit or debt cards, I often buy books from them]

I did found two very good deals:

memory: Corsair XMS3 4 GB 1333MHz PC3-10666 240-pin DDR3
http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-1333MHz-P ... 64&sr=1-43
$40 (adding shipping: $51.2)
[to reduce power consumption one memory module is probably better than two, but dual channel will be lost]

cpu: Intel Core i3-2100T Processor 2.50 GHz 3 MB Cache Socket LGA1155
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004P8 ... PDKIKX0DER
$129 (adding shipping and export fees: $164.7)

Amazon don't ship internationally the Intel mobo, but I found it in ebay:
Intel BOXDH67CFB3 LGA1155 DH67CF Mini-ITX Sandy Bridge
http://cgi.ebay.com/Intel-BOXDH67CFB3-L ... 19c54db08f
$140 + $31 shipping (a bit pricey but still affordable)

I could not find any mini-itx case of my taste either in ebay or in amazon (small, vertical stand, stylish). I like more the Pixxo case from Pc online.

I'm tempted to buy a SSD, maybe 64gb (enough room for win7, office 2010, firefox 5, few other programs, and some files). Amazon dont ship SSDs but they can be found esyly on ebay. Howewer, in many mini-itx cases there isn't enough space for two hdds, so I would be forced to connect via usb an external one for all my stored files.

Would be safe to add a slim case fan or the stock cpu fan will be enough? And talking about fans, I hope the intel mobo allow to slow down the rpm of the system fans.

_________________
My current rig:
Athlon II x2 240 Regor @ 2.8ghz | Gigabyte 785g (GA-MA785GM-US2H) | Picopsu 120-wi + generic power brick 120w 18.5v |HDD 2.5" 250gb Fujitsu | 2 x 2 gb Kingston DDR2 800 | Dvd-RW Samsung|+ monitor LED Acer 21.5"
Wattage: PC is 30W Idle, 45W Fully Loaded | LCD is 13W


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Advice for a low-power mini-itx PC
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:44 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:27 am
Posts: 1696
Location: Switzerland
greenfrank wrote:
Intel Core i3-2100T Processor 2.50 GHz 3 MB Cache Socket LGA1155
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004P8 ... PDKIKX0DER
$129 (adding shipping and export fees: $164.7)

Don't they allow combined shipping to reduce the impact of the fees?
FYI, they've got the G620 at 75$. It's got a larger heatsink like the 2100 which is better if your case is big enough.

In case you're planning to use the 2100T stock HS, make sure (don't "hope"!) your board can spin it relatively slowly. The noise becomes unbearable when it spins fast.

greenfrank wrote:
I'm tempted to buy a SSD, maybe 64gb (enough room for win7, office 2010, firefox 5, few other programs, and some files).

30G would be more than enough for lots of people. The 40G Intel 320s are decent enough for the price (they're supposed to be battery backed!). You can get more performance with a 64G like a C300 (not recommended for Mac or XP).

greenfrank wrote:
Howewer, in many mini-itx cases there isn't enough space for two hdds

Often times, there's enough room to tape an SSD somewhere. It wouldn't need to be mounted properly. There are also smaller SSDs. They don't have to be as big as a drive.

greenfrank wrote:
Would be safe to add a slim case fan or the stock cpu fan will be enough?

With your case, a case fan shouldn't be necessary but if have automatic fan control and you overwork the stock CPU fan, it'll get loud. A case fan should allow it to spin slower. Or if you don't want much CPU performance, you could underclock to keep the CPU fan from having to work too hard. But at some point, a Zacate or an Atom starts making more sense than a deeply underclocked Sandy Bridge. If you want the performance you paid for, a case fan would be sensible I think.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group