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 Post subject: would I be able to undervolt with this?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:44 pm 
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BIOSTAR B75MU3+ logicboard and Intel Celeron G530 CPU

Would I be able to undervolt with this combo?


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 Post subject: Re: would I be able to undervolt with this?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:50 pm 
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It's not worth bothering to do so with a modern Intel cpu. What use do you intend to put it to?

If you are really interested in reducing electricity usage by a few watts, switch to an Intel board.

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 Post subject: Re: would I be able to undervolt with this?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:22 am 
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ces wrote:
It's not worth bothering to do so with a modern Intel cpu. What use do you intend to put it to?
Primary system for a while at normal settings (not undervolted), then later repurposed as a secondary system and home server. Just wondering if I could get close to Atom power consumption (but with better performance) for the latter phase.

ces wrote:
If you are really interested in reducing electricity usage by a few watts, switch to an Intel board.
OK. Is that because the Intel board uses less power in stock config, or because it is better for undervolting?


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 Post subject: Re: would I be able to undervolt with this?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:11 am 
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If you're not planning on using a pico and if you're not planning to use several 3.5'' drives, your best bet for power consumption is the Intel board which takes DC. Not using a conventional power supply is going to make a much larger difference than undervolting.

toronado455 wrote:
Just wondering if I could get close to Atom power consumption (but with better performance) for the latter phase.

No (not even close) because there's no such thing as "Atom power consumption". If you pick an Atom board for its power consumption and not for its features or price, it'll destroy the competition.
Undervolting doesn't make a big difference when it comes to idle power consumption anyway.

You're better off buying an Atom board especially for the "latter phase" if you want lower power consumption. The resale value of your Sandy Bridge mobo + CPU might be higher than the cost of the most efficient Atom boards anyway.

ces wrote:
the Intel board uses less power in stock config

We don't know that actually. It's possible but have you seen any evidence?
Intel's boards tend to have better power consumption than the ones sold by gamer darlings but Biostar is one of the vendors which has been known to sell efficient boards.


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 Post subject: Re: would I be able to undervolt with this?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:46 am 
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toronado455 wrote:
ces wrote:
OK. Is that because the Intel board uses less power in stock config, or because it is better for undervolting?
Intel boards tend to excel at running at low wattage. Apparently that is one of the top deisgn paramters they give their engineers when designing the board. On the other hand they have a poor poor reputation for being good at underclocking or overclocking.

Most of your CPU's life will be spent running at idle. All the Sandy Bridge CPUs idle at about 4 watts... even the quad CPU models. If you want to reduce wattage you need to look at the board. That is where the action is.

I can not recollect any online testing where the Intel didn't beat the others in the test at operating with the lowest wattage. Unless you are going to do you own testing, I believe Intel motherboards are likely your safest choice. In any event, the variance between motherboards will dominate anything you can do with underclocking.

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 Post subject: Re: would I be able to undervolt with this?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:14 pm 
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ces wrote:
Intel boards tend to excel at running at low wattage.

I just need clarification... do you mean that it just uses less power out of the box without tweeking it, or it is more easily tweeked for lower power use?

ces wrote:
All the Sandy Bridge CPUs idle at about 4 watts

So basically, I should be more concerned with the power draw of the logicboard and other system components, rather than trying to undervolt the CPU?

EDIT:
I just did a bunch of digging around and reading up on this topic. It looks like some folks have configured systems that idle as low as 30w or less with an i3. I'm just wondering if I can do the same with a Sandy Bridge Celeron. I suppose since they both would use the same logicboard, why not. I guess I just need to find an efficient enough logicboard and then tailor the other system components to my liking.


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 Post subject: Re: would I be able to undervolt with this?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:10 am 
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How about this board then? Intel BOXDH67BLB3


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 Post subject: Re: would I be able to undervolt with this?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:35 pm 
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As far as I know, Intel board don't allow you to undervolt the CPU but that's no big deal (see above).

It's impossible to make a useful recommendation without knowing what you want to do with this board but the H61 boards are generally going to be the most efficient (you picked an H67).

You can definitely get a lot less than 30W idle with a Sandy Bridge Celeron (at least with the G530... I don't know about the cheaper ones).

If you're set on an Intel 1555 board and are not going to use add-on cards (PCIe and such), the most important part for your idle power consumption will be your power supply.
If you don't mind its serious limitations, there's an Intel H61 board which includes its own power supply (it takes DC from a brick). It would give you a very low power consumption at an affordable price.


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 Post subject: Re: would I be able to undervolt with this?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:38 am 
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HFat wrote:
As far as I know, Intel board don't allow you to undervolt the CPU but that's no big deal (see above).

It's impossible to make a useful recommendation without knowing what you want to do with this board but the H61 boards are generally going to be the most efficient (you picked an H67).

You can definitely get a lot less than 30W idle with a Sandy Bridge Celeron (at least with the G530... I don't know about the cheaper ones).

If you're set on an Intel 1555 board and are not going to use add-on cards (PCIe and such), the most important part for your idle power consumption will be your power supply.
If you don't mind its serious limitations, there's an Intel H61 board which includes its own power supply (it takes DC from a brick). It would give you a very low power consumption at an affordable price.


Thanks for that suggestion. I'll try to find that Intel H61 board. But as you say, I may not like the limitations. I prefer the BIOSTAR B75MU3+ I mentioned before because of the low cost, and because being a B75 board, it will support Ivy Bridge in case I need an extra one of those in the future.

This is kind of an experiment/proposition. I'm not entirely sure what my use for the system will be. I want to see if it's possible to build something at a minimum cost that could be used as a low-power server, but also has a bit more flexibility than an Atom solution. The most bang for buck seems to be the G530 in that regard.


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 Post subject: Re: would I be able to undervolt with this?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:40 am 
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HFat wrote:
there's an Intel H61 board which includes its own power supply (it takes DC from a brick).


This one:

http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ ... h61ag.html

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 Post subject: Re: would I be able to undervolt with this?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:02 pm 
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Ralf Hutter wrote:
HFat wrote:
there's an Intel H61 board which includes its own power supply (it takes DC from a brick).


This one:

http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ ... h61ag.html


Oh, Mini-ITX. Thanks. No wonder I couldn't find it. I was looking for a micro ATX board. Perhaps I shouldn't have mentioned "Atom" at all. I know so little about brick PSUs I wouldn't even know where to start. I suppose I'm looking for the middle ground between that and a regular desktop.

I suppose what I'm wondering is, is there such a thing as a board that will allow me to temporarily undervolt/underclock a regular G530 (65W) down to G530T (35W) levels, or even beyond that?
(But I do understand that I will need an efficient PSU as well.)


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 Post subject: Re: would I be able to undervolt with this?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:11 pm 
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Intel's got a bunch of H61 uATX boards: http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ ... eries.html
I assume they all allow underclocking and that none allow undervolting but you might want to double-check.

Quit looking at this 65W/35W nonsense by the way. The ratings simply don't apply to these CPUs.

If I may insist: if you're interested in keeping the power consumption of the system and not the merely of CPU low, the PSU is key. The only conventional PSU I know which comes close to the kind of efficiency you can get with boards which take DC is the Platinum Kingwin/Superflower 550W... and it's expensive.
There are many affordable PSUs which are reasonably efficient when it comes to powering largish servers or heavy-duty gaming systems... but virtually all conventional PSUs are terrible for the kind of system we're talking about.


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 Post subject: Re: would I be able to undervolt with this?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:17 pm 
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HFat wrote:
Platinum Kingwin/Superflower 550W

What do you think of this FSP Raider 450W 80Plus Bronze? AnandTech's test result was 84.46% efficiency at 10% load.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/6013/3504 ... ap-psus/17

I'm trying to figure out how to compare it with the Kingwin/Superflower 550W. Would a 10% load would be a 45W load on the FSP because it is a 450W PSU? If so, is that comparable to the 40.00W/46.95W low-load efficiency of 85.20% for the Kingwin AP-550 reported at techpowerup?
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/King ... 550/5.html


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 Post subject: Re: would I be able to undervolt with this?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:07 am 
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The efficiency 10% load is not a very useful measurement most because you're going to draw a lot less power at idle.
I don't trust measurements by default (especially if they're unclear). I wouldn't compare numbers which may not be comparable due to differences in gear and procedures. And the AP-550 isn't the model I was talking about anyway (sorry for being vague but I didn't recall it existed). I was talking about the LZP reviewed by SPCR (the efficiency was measured down to 22.5W DC),
Maybe this FSP unit is almost as good but I doubt it. Regardless, there are many affordable PSUs which are pretty good. I guess this FSP unit is one of them and it might be good enough for you. But if you're serious about saving power with marginal tweaks like undervolting, you should be serious about your PSU as well... and unless you want to overspend, that usually means getting a pico.


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