Intel Core i5-661: A 32nm CPU with Integrated Graphics

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Post by flyingsherpa » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:25 pm

MikeC wrote:I think AMD is already totally competitive with Intel -- or superior -- for idle power. I checked the power at the 12Vx2 socket for this 240e some weeks ago and measured idle power at ~5W (iirc).
Now if we could just find the 240e for sale anywhere :(
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Post by wickchucker » Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:30 pm

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/int ... 16-13.html

benchmarks from Tom's Hardware focusing on efficiency of the i5-661.

Quote:
"We didn’t use a high-efficiency power supply, nor did we bother to optimize anything. Yet, the DH55TC/Core i5-661 system delivered very impressive results."

Tests show 30 Watts at idle for the i5-661, compared to to 240e on Gigabyte 785g.

And he goes on to hypothesize:
"A high-efficiency power supply, energy-efficient hard drive, and some voltage modding could easily bring a similar system to roughly 25W idle power. " Sounds like the i3 on that Intel mini itx with a pico psu and 2.5" hd is going go real low.

Not advocating their testing methods or anything, but thought it might be of interest here for the experts on efficiency testing.

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Post by MikeC » Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:04 pm

b_rubenstein wrote:For the life of me, I don't understand this obsession with CPU idle power consumption. It's somewhere on the order of only 15% of the power draw of the system at idle (with a low power system). Furthermore, your getting all hot and bothered about 2 - 3w; that's like $0.25 worth of electricity in a year.
Definitely, total system power draw is what's really relevant, but the question was posed, and I answered. In general, idle system power consumption is of importance, because most HTPCs are left on 24/7 for media access, downloading files/torrents, recording TV programs, etc, during which time, the system is very close to idle.

As for the electricity cost, that's not a concern for me, but I love the idea of keeping my energy consumption as low as possible -- at least while unrenewable dirty fuels rule.
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Post by b_rubenstein » Wed Jan 06, 2010 4:00 am

MikeC wrote: In general, idle system power consumption is of importance, because most HTPCs are left on 24/7 for media access, downloading files/torrents, recording TV programs, etc, during which time, the system is very close to idle.
Based on what I read on the HTPC related forums, and what I do, is have the PC go into S3 Sleep mode when it isn't actually doing something.

As best as I can tell from a KAW (which isn't great at low power measurements) S3 mode has the same power draw as turning the PC off while leaving the PS energized.

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Post by Greg F. » Wed Jan 06, 2010 5:28 am

MikeC wrote:
b_rubenstein wrote:For the life of me, I don't understand this obsession with CPU idle power consumption. It's somewhere on the order of only 15% of the power draw of the system at idle (with a low power system). Furthermore, your getting all hot and bothered about 2 - 3w; that's like $0.25 worth of electricity in a year.
Definitely, total system power draw is what's really relevant, but the question was posed, and I answered. In general, idle system power consumption is of importance, because most HTPCs are left on 24/7 for media access, downloading files/torrents, recording TV programs, etc, during which time, the system is very close to idle.

As for the electricity cost, that's not a concern for me, but I love the idea of keeping my energy consumption as low as possible -- at least while unrenewable dirty fuels rule.
Isn't the preponderance of your electric power in B.C. sourced from hydroelectricity?
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Post by DAve_M » Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:06 am

b_rubenstein wrote:For the life of me, I don't understand this obsession with CPU idle power consumption. It's somewhere on the order of only 15% of the power draw of the system at idle (with a low power system). Furthermore, your getting all hot and bothered about 2 - 3w; that's like $0.25 worth of electricity in a year.
Because PCs a few years ago didn't even have CPU throttling and they used like 60W just doing nothing. Wouldn't it be cool to have a PC that could idle at only 10W or less? It's more than 2W, it's closer to 30W. Power consumption is the main enemy for silent computing. Low power = easy fanless cooling.

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Post by MikeC » Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:47 am

Greg F. wrote:Isn't the preponderance of your electric power in B.C. sourced from hydroelectricity?
Probably around 80%, but dams also have serious ecological impact and demand is rising at 1.7%, and plans are afoot to build new power generation sources. Almost regardless of what they build, it will have some kind of ecological cost, and they will invariably choose almost exclusively on profit/cost considerations. I want to reduce my energy consumption rather than increase it, to reduce my dependence on the grid, and not support corporate/govt justifications for more large scale f-ups in our environment.
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Post by b_rubenstein » Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:40 am

DAve_M wrote:Wouldn't it be cool to have a PC that could idle at only 10W or less? It's more than 2W, it's closer to 30W. Power consumption is the main enemy for silent computing. Low power = easy fanless cooling.
You're mixing CPU and system power. My comments were specific to the CPU. Current CPUs use less than 20% of the power of a PC at idle.

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Post by Jordan » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:23 pm

b_rubenstein wrote:For the life of me, I don't understand this obsession with CPU idle power consumption. It's somewhere on the order of only 15% of the power draw of the system at idle (with a low power system). Furthermore, your getting all hot and bothered about 2 - 3w; that's like $0.25 worth of electricity in a year.
It's not a strict rule, but generally when things use less power it's an indicator that they're more efficient and/or will put out less heat. That's what us PC silencers really care about (unless I'm speaking for myself here).

In the past I've paid over the odds to get more efficient or cooler-running components so the money saving issue concerned with power draw certainly isn't a consideration for me.

When I spec my next PC, keeping heat down while still having decent performance I can tap into the 5% of the time my PC isn't idle or acting as a web browser is my main concern. I'll probably go for dual-core (again), instead of quad even though the former is often considered poorer value, just because it puts out less heat so will require less cooling.
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Post by Jordan » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:33 pm

My main concern here is that although having a discrete low-end graphics card will undoubtedly result in greater overall system power consumption, it means that it isn't all lumped in one place.

I'd rather have a passive card pumping out heat slightly away from the CPU than the CPU putting out more heat and possibly requiring active cooling.

Other than that, until I know the exact real-world system requirements of StarCraft 2, I can't go committing to any kind of graphics upgrade :lol: It is the only game I'll be buying for the PC.
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Post by Vicotnik » Wed Jan 06, 2010 3:27 pm

Jordan wrote:It's not a strict rule, but generally when things use less power it's an indicator that they're more efficient and/or will put out less heat.
Not a strict rule you say? What happens to the energy that doesn't become heat? ;)
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Post by bbzidane » Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:52 pm

does anyone know if you have an i3 processor on a p55 motherboard, would the embedded graphic chip in the processor still consume power, or would it be turned off completely?

and can it be disabled on a h55 motherboard.

just wondering as im not sure if the embedded graphics is going to be enough for me, and i might want to have an addon graphics card later

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Post by MtnHermit » Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:14 pm

smilingcrow wrote:Most sites used the Asus P7H57DV-EVO which consumes a lot more power than the Intel H55 board that SPCR used – TechReport.
It’ll be interesting to see what a decent low power H5x board can achieve when over-clocking or under-volting.
The link you provided shows both the Intel H55 and Asus H57 boards, no reason for an H57 to consume more power, unlike a P55. Perhaps the H57 had discrete graphics? That would make a big difference. Besides, they did all their test with a 610W PSU. These test should have been run with a 200W PSU, or better yet a picoPSU.
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Post by MtnHermit » Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:21 pm

b_rubenstein wrote:For the life of me, I don't understand this obsession with CPU idle power consumption. It's somewhere on the order of only 15% of the power draw of the system at idle (with a low power system). Furthermore, your getting all hot and bothered about 2 - 3w; that's like $0.25 worth of electricity in a year.
Well if you lived on 3KWH/day you'd be very interested. I'll bet you use 10 times that or more.
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Post by b_rubenstein » Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:37 pm

MtnHermit wrote:Well if you lived on 3KWH/day you'd be very interested.
Not very; I'd be looking at things that could save me more than 2-3w.

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Post by Greg F. » Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:46 pm

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Post by Greg F. » Fri Jan 08, 2010 5:01 am

the Clarkdale processors are now at Newegg. but the 45w AMD processors are not, but apparently are at Tiger Direct. I don't understand that.

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Post by stevea » Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:55 am

smilingcrow wrote:Most sites used the Asus P7H57DV-EVO which consumes a lot more power than the Intel H55 board that SPCR used – TechReport.
It’ll be interesting to see what a decent low power ....
I've been tracking low power but mid-high performance boards & CPUs for some time. My opinion is that Asus is particularly enamoured of 4/8/16-phase on-board power controllers that draw a lot of power themselves. Gamers need these; real people don't. Anyway I *SUSPECT* this is part of the reason the Asus board draws excess power. Also Intel has been very good about power design on their media/HTPC boards like the H55 board in this test.

Fwiw ...
http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=21684&page=7
So perhaps this Intel board is overclockable ?!!?

I'd really like to see a performance & power review of the i3-* chips.

===

1 watt-years costs me ~85 cents today, but looking forward I think a $1/watt-year is realist estimate for a 5yr system-lifespan. The 2-3 watts is $2-3/yr (not 25 cents) or $10-15 over the life of a system. If you can achieve 25W idle power vs ~45W for previous good low power system at idle, then you'll save ~$100/5yrs. That's not a deciding factor when a cheap system costs $500, but the fact that you save about half the fans and cooling noise along with a $100 is a big win.

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Post by hans007 » Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:07 pm

the article's benchmarks are not entirely good for interpreting..

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1013-page4.html


so that chart makes the hd3200 look really slow. the problem is they used the 4850e with the hd3200 and the phenom ii with the hd3300 (they are the same chip just 500mhz and 700mhz).


the 780g chip greatly benefits from an am2+ or am3 with hypertransport cpu so it is probably really faster . if you say had an hd3200 with sideport with say an athlon ii 240e it would likely be as fast as the core I5 gpu in 3dmark.

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Post by ilovejedd » Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:04 pm

Another excellent review. Any chance you guys might be able to get your hands on a Core i3-530 to test? ;)

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Post by javitxi » Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:23 pm

Another nice review as always :)

Regarding to power consumption, have you tried VIA motherboards? Obviously, it isn't a great choice if you are planning to upgrade in somehow your motherboard because of the integrated VIA-CPU, but if you are looking to consume as less energy as you can and you are not concerned about the cost of their products, VIA will be a far better solution than this i5 + undervolting issues.

Anyway, also I have some doubts about integrating the GPU with the CPU. As far as I have read, with the i9s, i7s, i5s and i3s there is no Northbridge (while AMD has been not using it since 2-3 years) so less power consumption & heat. Also, integrating the GPU is ok because is 1 chip less so less power consumption & heat, but I'm not very sure if this step is one on the right direction:

Really it consumes less power than the equivalent CPU with an integrated GPU in a motherboard?

Also, really this CPU+GPU works fine on 1080p on 1920x1200? Becasue as you have commented, the nVidia 9300 or ION solution will do better this work

So, these 2 questions lead me to the final question: What is Intel real objective by integrating the GPU on their CPUs?

Many thanks for your thoughts :)

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Post by DAve_M » Sat Jan 09, 2010 4:17 am

b_rubenstein wrote:Not very; I'd be looking at things that could save me more than 2-3w.
Saving 3W is like a 10% reduction on system power consumption. It will reduce power from the PSU and regulators so total reduction could easily be 15%. That's not bad IMO.

Also, the point I was trying to make earlier was you're not just saving 3W. You do you best to keep power down and you end up with a big saving. Such as 60W at idle to 30W. A lot of that comes from cool 'n' quiet / speed step but still...

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Post by loimlo » Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:56 am

flyingsherpa wrote:
MikeC wrote:I think AMD is already totally competitive with Intel -- or superior -- for idle power. I checked the power at the 12Vx2 socket for this 240e some weeks ago and measured idle power at ~5W (iirc).
Now if we could just find the 240e for sale anywhere :(
You probably can achieve similar result by undervolting 240/245. That said, motherboard power consumption is more difficult to measure ......

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Post by smilingcrow » Sat Jan 09, 2010 1:10 pm

MtnHermit wrote:
smilingcrow wrote:Most sites used the Asus P7H57DV-EVO which consumes a lot more power than the Intel H55 board that SPCR used – TechReport.
It’ll be interesting to see what a decent low power H5x board can achieve when over-clocking or under-volting.
The link you provided shows both the Intel H55 and Asus H57 boards, no reason for an H57 to consume more power, unlike a P55. Perhaps the H57 had discrete graphics? That would make a big difference.
They didn’t mention using a discrete VGA card and the issue is not so unusual for Asus as they’ve released a number of boards in recent years with unusually high power consumption.

One problem with these new dual cores is that if you use them with a P55 board you end up with a 32nm dual core that consumes up to 10W more at idle than a 45nm quad on the same board. I wonder how a H55 board with a discrete graphics card compares when using an i3 versus i5-750?
The issue is that the GPU can’t be fully disabled as the memory controller for the CPU is on the GPU which seems a bad design feature affecting both performance and power consumption.

If you want integrated graphics and a dual core CPU that can over-clock to up to 4.5GHz at sane voltages without seemingly a massive negative impact on power efficiency then the H55/i3 or i5 combo makes sense. Otherwise they seem expensive for what comes across as a flawed design.

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Post by stevea » Sat Jan 09, 2010 1:13 pm

Just an FYI for anyone looking at the Intel MOBOs for the new 32mm parts.
I just determined that both boards (DH55HC & DH55TC) use the Intel 82578DC enet interface. This part does NOT handle jumbo packets according to Intel
http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=35653

Since my intention is to build a low power server where network performance is critical these boards are a no-go.

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Post by smilingcrow » Sat Jan 09, 2010 1:15 pm

MikeC wrote:As for transcoding of movies, I just can't see that many people doing it.
How do you think all those movies being illegally shared are produced? :shock:

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Post by Kaleid » Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:09 pm

smilingcrow wrote:
MikeC wrote:As for transcoding of movies, I just can't see that many people doing it.
How do you think all those movies being illegally shared are produced? :shock:
Aren't most group releases?

Anyway.. wonder if the h57 chipset can have as low idle watt usage as Intel's motherboard? That would make a great secondary system.
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Post by smilingcrow » Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:58 pm

Kaleid wrote:Anyway.. wonder if the h57 chipset can have as low idle watt usage as Intel's motherboard? That would make a great secondary system.
No reason why not as the H57 and H55 are so similar in spec and they have the same TDP of 5.2W. The differences between the two are so small as to make it strange as to why they bothered and it’s not as if the price difference is significant – Intel.

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Post by smilingcrow » Sat Jan 09, 2010 3:05 pm

Kaleid wrote:
smilingcrow wrote:How do you think all those movies being illegally shared are produced? :shock:
Aren't most group releases?.
Maybe most of the ones that get shared the most are but there are many more being shared that are seemingly produced by individuals.

As well as that there are a lot of people that like to RIP and transcode films from DVD and Blu-ray to stick on a home server or HTPC. It’s not something your average user does but it’s not exactly a rarity.

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Post by stevea » Sat Jan 09, 2010 3:13 pm

smilingcrow wrote: One problem with these new dual cores is that if you use them with a P55 board you end up with a 32nm dual core that consumes up to 10W more at idle than a 45nm quad on the same board. I wonder how a H55 board with a discrete graphics card compares when using an i3 versus i5-750?
You are making a strawman argument. If you don't want the on-chip GPU then it is ridiculous to choose the i5-661 w/ higher powered GPU, the i5-660 is a much better choice. 14W Lower TPD (73W vs 87W) and more CPU features. The -660 GPU is slower 733Mhz vs 900Mhz).

I can't understand who wants/needs the -661 in comparison to the -660. If you want serious graphics you'd use an external card w/ the -660. If you don't care abt graphics performance then you'd choose the -660. The -661 seems a very poorly positioned product, yet it's the one pushed to the press so far.
The issue is that the GPU can’t be fully disabled as the memory controller for the CPU is on the GPU which seems a bad design feature affecting both performance and power consumption.

If you want integrated graphics and a dual core CPU that can over-clock to up to 4.5GHz at sane voltages without seemingly a massive negative impact on power efficiency then the H55/i3 or i5 combo makes sense. Otherwise they seem expensive for what comes across as a flawed design.
I agree If you don't want the on-chip GPU then the new 32mm i3's and i5's are lossy and the memory architecture is certainly inferior to the 45nm parts. OTOH this is not a flawed design. This series of new dual core CPUs with decent, not spectacular, memory performance and modest but acceptable GPU performance is a nice fit for commodity desktops, HTPCs and low end servers. Compared to the E8000 & E7000 core2 dual CPU parts, they offer more performance, equal or lower power, integrated GPU at about the same price point.

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