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

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smilingcrow
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Post by smilingcrow » Sat Jan 09, 2010 3:50 pm

stevea wrote:
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 didn’t specifically mention the i5-661 so I’m not clear why you make that argument!
I was thinking about ANY 32nm dual core versus an i5-750 and in conjunction with an entry level VGA card.
I’d hate to add around 10W to idle power consumption and don’t want to be forced to use an IGP.
stevea wrote: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.
The IGP has always been ‘free’ in the sense that integrated chipsets have never been expensive so I don’t see having it on the CPU is a positive from a financial point of view.
The 32nm process gives the power savings over Lynnfield’s 45nm process rather than the chip’s design per se. I don’t think it’s any more advanced than Lynnfield in that sense.
A design that increases memory latency, reduces performance (compared to Lynnfield), increases idle power consumption when discrete graphics are used, increases power density on the CPU die and reduces choice (i.e. Lynnfield can’t use an IGP) is very flawed from my perspective. It makes more sense for the mainstream market but that’s not my bag.

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Post by confusion » Sun Jan 10, 2010 12:49 am

smilingcrow wrote: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.
I do not believe this is correct; do you have any actual reference to back this claim up?

One of the design points of Nehalem and now Clarkdale is how the chips can shut down portions that aren't being used; it's how Turboboost works on the quads when not all cores are in use. An article from last year that I can't find now talks about how the video on Clarkdale can be partially or completely shut down as well.

I don't even think this is anything new; tests of P45 versus G45 boards have shown practially the same power consumption with a video card installed.

On the other hand, I'd certainly have liked to be able to buy a version of an i3 or i5 dual-core with no video included as well.

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Post by stevea » Sun Jan 10, 2010 3:50 am

smilingcrow wrote:
stevea wrote:
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 didn’t specifically mention the i5-661 so I’m not clear why you make that argument!
I was thinking about ANY 32nm dual core versus an i5-750 and in conjunction with an entry level VGA card.
I’d hate to add around 10W to idle power consumption and don’t want to be forced to use an IGP.
You claim these new (i.e. 32nm) duals use 10W more at idle than a 45nm i5/i7 on the same P55 board. The only evidence I see is the Tom'sHW report (on an H55) where they explicitly say the Asus board may be the cause.

Here is a specific report on this issue: http://techreport.com/articles.x/18216/15 "First, when installed in our P55 motherboard, the Core i5-661 had the same power draw at idle as the Core i5-750". This on a Gigabyte P55A-UD6. Obviously the i5-660 would be lower power and same performance in this case.

This appears to show the 32nm system w/ external graphics drawing 6W LESS at idle w/ the -661. http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1013-page5.html

I think you are wrong about the idle power differential, and in any case the -660 should use less power than -661; -661 is NOT a valid reference point for a "not-using-IGP" test. Have any evidence for your "10W worse" claim ?

The IGP has always been ‘free’ in the sense that integrated chipsets have never been expensive so I don’t see having it on the CPU is a positive from a financial point of view.
Of course these aren't free, and they have real value. Putting together a headless server, only a few BIOS's will support serial console, so you generally need some minimal low power graphics for boot to succeed. The cheapest separate cards are ~$40 and eat up an expensive PCI-X slot resource and at least 12W at idle. Mobos with integrated graphics (say G35 & G45 and some interface) cost more than their no-vid counterparts by about a $40 margin and use several extra watts. A development station with an i3/i5, IGP+H55 can be cheap, middlin' high performance, modest graphics and low power.
The 32nm process gives the power savings over Lynnfield’s 45nm process rather than the chip’s design per se. I don’t think it’s any more advanced than Lynnfield in that sense.
Not more advanced, just the opposite, at same clock rate and <= 2 threads the clarksdale has decided architectural disadvantage compared to the lynnfield, (but you get more Ghz/$ on Clarksdale). OTOH Clarksdale has a big advantage over wolfsdale. In isolation of other design criteria this is a pointless fact.

You have to consider all the relevent factors TOGETHER - total price, performance, power, vs requirements. For $200 you can get a E8500, i5-660 or an i5-750. E8500 is the low performance chip among these. The -660 and the -750 have very similar performance until you get to trancoding and multi-threaded benchmarks, at which point the i5-750 runs away; but how many ppl need that ?. Despite your objections the -660 or even -661 is the low power solution, followed by the i5-750 and E8500. Of course IF you use the -660 IGP then the -660 system power is unchanged. For the E8500 there are a lot of on-board solutions for perhaps 5-6 watts at idle. For the i7-750 there are no on-board GPUs so you lose a PCI-X slot, $40+ and at least 12 watts at idle. Even having an extra PCI-X slot unpopulated costs power & money and you NEED 1+ extra for the i5-750.

Clearly an i5-660 system where the IGP graphics are sufficient and where you only need 2 cores (can't use 4) will be cheaper and lower power than either i5-750 or E8500 system. It's performance will be comparable to the i5-750 unless/until you can use the extra cores.
A design that increases memory latency, reduces performance (compared to Lynnfield), increases idle power consumption when discrete graphics are used, increases power density on the CPU die and reduces choice (i.e. Lynnfield can’t use an IGP) is very flawed from my perspective. It makes more sense for the mainstream market but that’s not my bag.
No it's not "very flawed". You lack perspective. The -660/-661 has faster memory than wolfdales, tho' inferior to the lynnfield. It has performance comparable to same-price Lynnfields except when you can use the extra 2 lynnfield cores and you get the IGP on a similar power budget. Anyone choosing this chip with use of "discrete graphics" is probably a fool. It's a bogus comparison. If you can't use the IGP then it's EXTREMELY likely this is a poor choice for you. The i5-750 would almost always make more sense in that case. If you can use IGP it may be a big win depending on other requirements.

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Post by smilingcrow » Sun Jan 10, 2010 5:24 am

confusion wrote:
smilingcrow wrote: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.
I do not believe this is correct; do you have any actual reference to back this claim up?.
I wasn’t clear in that I meant that the GPU die not the GPU core can’t be fully disabled due to it having the memory controller onboard and also the PCIe controller.

I looked into it some more as this 10W difference seemed too high and concluded that fortunately I was mistaken. Here’s some data for idle power consumption with all systems using a P55 with discrete graphics:

Bit-tech
I3-530 / 69W
I5-661 / 71W
I5-750 / 74W

Over-clocked with GHz in brackets
I3-530 (3.5) / 72W
I5-661(4.0) / 74W
I5-750 (4.1) / 81W

Xbitlabs
Pentium G6950 / 50W
I3-540 / 51W
I5-661 / 52W
I5-750 / 53W
I7-860 / 54W

Techreport
I5-661 / 83W
I5-750 / 83W

The xBitlabs article states the following which wasn’t mentioned elsewhere:

“We are extremely surprised with the low power consumption readings taken off Clarkdale processors. However, the results can be explained easily. The thing is that the power from the individual 8-pin 12 V mainboard connector is sent only to the 32 nm processor die. The second 45 nm semiconductor die is powered by the mainboard.â€

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Post by smilingcrow » Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:31 am

stevea wrote:
The IGP has always been ‘free’ in the sense that integrated chipsets have never been expensive so I don’t see having it on the CPU is a positive from a financial point of view.
Of course these aren't free, and they have real value. Putting together a headless server, only a few BIOS's will support serial console, so you generally need some minimal low power graphics for boot to succeed. The cheapest separate cards are ~$40 and eat up an expensive PCI-X slot resource and at least 12W at idle.
Not sure what Servers have to do in the context of desktop components!
stevea wrote:Mobos with integrated graphics (say G35 & G45 and some interface) cost more than their no-vid counterparts by about a $40 margin and use several extra watts.
The G3x & G4x series chipsets with integrated graphics are found on the cheap boards and consume less power than the Pxx boards so you are wrong on both counts.
stevea wrote:
A design that ……is very flawed from my perspective. It makes more sense for the mainstream market but that’s not my bag.
No it's not "very flawed". You lack perspective.
Why? Because I say it makes sense for the mainstream but not for me! Seems like I have a reasonable perspective as I can see what doesn’t work for me but also see that it is still a good mainstream solution.
stevea wrote:Anyone choosing this chip with use of "discrete graphics" is probably a fool. It's a bogus comparison. If you can't use the IGP then it's EXTREMELY likely this is a poor choice for you. The i5-750 would almost always make more sense in that case.
Some people just want a decent dual core CPU to use with a discrete card for possibly gaming and the i3/i5 make sense in that scenario especially in a HTPC/Gaming box. I think you are overly focussed on the i5-661 which is just one of these chips and I’m talking about the whole range.
If these CPUs meets yours requirements regardless of their on die GPU then just buy one and forget about the GPU.

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Post by croddie » Sun Jan 10, 2010 4:15 pm

BillyBuerger wrote:Can you verify that you could use the DVI and HDMI for dual digital displays?
Yes, even previous-gen G45 boards could do this.
I'm hoping Arrandale Laptops will come out with dual digital outputs at last, or single daisy-chainable displayport.
Also, can the IGP be used in parallel with a PCIe graphics card for additional displays?
Don't know, sounds unlikely.

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Post by croddie » Sun Jan 10, 2010 4:18 pm

b_rubenstein wrote:Have you actually ever ripped a DVD to mp4?
Using Handbrake (which is multi threaded) I ripped a typical full length movie to the HD and all 4 cores of the Q9550, running at 3.2 Ghz, were pegged at 100% for an hour.

From what I've seen lots of people do do it. This way they can store movies in a central repository so they can be watched on any computer on the network.
Yes but there only needs to be one powerful computer on the network to do this.
Also it's a temporary phenomenon before GPU-accelerated video encoding becomes mainstream. I don't know the standards here but Clarkdale/Arrandale are supposed to get some sort of GPGPU support and presumably software will support them as they will be very common chips.

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Post by croddie » Sun Jan 10, 2010 4:24 pm

As a side note, what is a VGA output doing on a board produced in 2010? And no displayport?

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Post by confusion » Sun Jan 10, 2010 4:32 pm

smilingcrow wrote: I wasn’t clear in that I meant that the GPU die not the GPU core can’t be fully disabled due to it having the memory controller onboard and also the PCIe controller.
This is true, and looking at it from a consumer viewpoint it's unfortunate the memory controller isn't on the CPU die as then it's also likely memory performance would be closer to Lynnfield.
I looked into it some more as this 10W difference seemed too high and concluded that fortunately I was mistaken. Here’s some data for idle power consumption with all systems using a P55 with discrete graphics:

Bit-tech
I3-530 / 69W
I5-661 / 71W
I5-750 / 74W

Over-clocked with GHz in brackets
I3-530 (3.5) / 72W
I5-661(4.0) / 74W
I5-750 (4.1) / 81W

Xbitlabs
Pentium G6950 / 50W
I3-540 / 51W
I5-661 / 52W
I5-750 / 53W
I7-860 / 54W

Techreport
I5-661 / 83W
I5-750 / 83W

The xBitlabs article states the following which wasn’t mentioned elsewhere:

“We are extremely surprised with the low power consumption readings taken off Clarkdale processors. However, the results can be explained easily. The thing is that the power from the individual 8-pin 12 V mainboard connector is sent only to the 32 nm processor die. The second 45 nm semiconductor die is powered by the mainboard.â€

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Post by MtnHermit » Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:21 pm

croddie wrote:As a side note, what is a VGA output doing on a board produced in 2010? And no displayport?
Are you referring to the Intel H55 MB? This GIGABYTE GA-H55M-UD2H has Display Port + VGA. I did a look see on Newegg and I could find only one Display Port monitor, a $1000+ HP. Not going to sell a lot of those.

So just what makes Display Port special?
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Post by ziphnor » Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:51 am

All these different measurement of power consumption are making me a bit confused. The SPCR mentions measuring on the 12V connector, does that mean it is not representative of the total power consumption? (i realize it doesnt dont take into account PSU (in)efficient, but apart from that).

Lets say you put use a Core i3 (or i5) with the intel board and combine it with an SSD (which uses almost no power). What kind of total system power consumption should i expect in idle? (DC or AC, i dont care :)

Im basically trying to figure out whether an AMD 235e or a Core i3 is a better choice for a decent home storage/streaming server.

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Post by BillyBuerger » Mon Jan 11, 2010 11:34 am

ziphnor wrote:All these different measurement of power consumption are making me a bit confused. The SPCR mentions measuring on the 12V connector, does that mean it is not representative of the total power consumption? (i realize it doesnt dont take into account PSU (in)efficient, but apart from that).
SPCR measured from the 12V connector to measure the actual CPU power which they got 5.3W idle. But then they also measured the whole system power where they got 31W idle from the wall including losses in the Seasonic 400W PSU. And that's with a velociraptor and 9400GT video card. Is the 9400 card an exceptionally low power card? What would the system draw be with the onboard GPU and an SSD? But back to your question, it's sure better than the 550BE they compared it too and beats my undervolted AII 245 with an SSD which hit 34W idle.

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Post by Lawrence Lee » Mon Jan 11, 2010 1:43 pm

ziphnor wrote:All these different measurement of power consumption are making me a bit confused. The SPCR mentions measuring on the 12V connector, does that mean it is not representative of the total power consumption? (i realize it doesnt dont take into account PSU (in)efficient, but apart from that).

Lets say you put use a Core i3 (or i5) with the intel board and combine it with an SSD (which uses almost no power). What kind of total system power consumption should i expect in idle? (DC or AC, i dont care :)
You want to look only at the test results on the first table on page 5 then which were acquired using integrated graphics, notebook hard drive, and an idle optical drive. A notebook hard drive uses less than 1W idle, similar to a SSD.

The first column is system power measured from the wall then converted to DC using our power supply efficiency chart (see test methodology on page 3). Second column is measured from the +12V connector which feeds only the CPU+VRMs. The third column is the difference between the two to estimate how much the other components use.

Only the results on tables comparing it to other CPUs were derived using the GF9400/Velociraptor configuration, as that's our standard CPU testing rig.

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Post by croddie » Mon Jan 11, 2010 2:37 pm

MtnHermit wrote: I did a look see on Newegg and I could find only one Display Port monitor, a $1000+ HP. Not going to sell a lot of those.

So just what makes Display Port special?
There are some Dells and Apples too.
Compared to DVI, small connector, thinner cable, longer lengths.
Multiple streams: daisy chaining can be important especially for notebooks. 3D displays (for gamers?)
>8bpp (per channel) support, good for >sRGB color spaces
Future-proof, with higher bandwidth for future monitors.

I'm not unhappy with DVI or hdmi, just Intel should really have killed VGA many years ago, giving more room for digital outputs and less room for user error (namely, using the VGA port).

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Post by ziphnor » Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:40 pm

Lawrence Lee wrote: You want to look only at the test results on the first table on page 5 then which were acquired using integrated graphics, notebook hard drive, and an idle optical drive. A notebook hard drive uses less than 1W idle, similar to a SSD.

The first column is system power measured from the wall then converted to DC using our power supply efficiency chart (see test methodology on page 3).
Thank you very much for the clarification. I suspected that this was the case but wasnt sure, especially combined with all the other number being thrown around in this thread.

The 18W DC idle just seems exceptionally efficient. Are there any other cpus that can offer anywhere near this performance using the same or less power?

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Post by ziphnor » Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:47 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 $0.25 worth of electricity in a year.
1W 24/7 is equivalent to 8.760kWh in a year. In Denmark (where i live) a kWh costs somewhere between 0.30$ and 0.40$ and this can only be expected to increase. So 1W 24/7 can easily cost 3$ a year. Still not a lot of course, but compared to my current server which draws 70W idle with 2 Greenpower discs a Core i3 setup could make sense (since the old server is also too slow ;).

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Post by b_rubenstein » Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:17 am

Dropping power consumption in half on a server that's on 24/7 and currently using 70w sounds pretty good. However, the new low powered server doesn't start paying for itself until sometime in its fourth year (based on your $3/w power cost and only replacing the CPU, MB and RAM).

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Post by AlexNC » Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:54 am

So, what is the smallest foot print box I can build with this chip with a built in TV tuner, and still have it cool and quiet?

I am dieing for a small form HTPC. And this chip sounds like a great choice.

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Post by ziphnor » Tue Jan 12, 2010 7:02 am

b_rubenstein wrote:Dropping power consumption in half on a server that's on 24/7 and currently using 70w sounds pretty good. However, the new low powered server doesn't start paying for itself until sometime in its fourth year (based on your $3/w power cost and only replacing the CPU, MB and RAM).
If it was only a matter of power consumption i probably wouldnt upgrade (though it always nice to know that im saving energy even if im not saving money). However, the old server is too slow (Athlon64 3000+). If i remote desktop to it while its streaming HD material to my HTPC i get stutter in the playback. Unpacking files can also render it pretty much useless.

A Core i3 might be overkill though which is why i am also considering the somewhat cheaper AMD 235e, but i am unsure about the difference in power consumption.

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Post by Rebellious » Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:20 am

matt_garman wrote:
b_rubenstein wrote:
DAve_M wrote: I doubt most people do that. Ripping, maybe... but that isn't CPU intensive.
Have you actually ever ripped a DVD to mp4?
Using Handbrake (which is multi threaded) I ripped a typical full length movie to the HD and all 4 cores of the Q9550, running at 3.2 Ghz, were pegged at 100% for an hour.
Depends on what you mean by "rip". Personally, I consider "rip" to mean simply the process of copying the data from the CD/DVD/BD to the computer. This process is almost an entirely I/O-bound (i.e. requires virtually no CPU).

Encoding and other format conversions, on the other hand, are very CPU intensive.

The handbrake case mentioned above is "ripping" that includes both processes (data copy plus encoding). The original poster may have been suggesting "ripping" with only the data copy portion.

How/why do you copy commercial DVD movies?

I copied one a few years ago just to test my new burners. How naive of me. The movie was "Addicted to Love" Meg Ryan, Mathew Broderick, Warner Bros. It contains a well-known malicious rootkit that disables your OS ability to play any movie. Sony & Warner bros got nasty publicity and have since switched to less malicious copy-protection schemes.

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Post by BillyBuerger » Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:13 pm

Rebellious wrote:How/why do you copy commercial DVD movies?

I copied one a few years ago just to test my new burners. How naive of me. The movie was "Addicted to Love" Meg Ryan, Mathew Broderick, Warner Bros. It contains a well-known malicious rootkit that disables your OS ability to play any movie. Sony & Warner bros got nasty publicity and have since switched to less malicious copy-protection schemes.
Well, #1 for me on any windows build is disable autorun. I hate that if only for the annoyance of it popping up when you plug something in. Not to mention the possibility of crap like this.

Second, I like having all my movies available in one location along with anime and stuff that I've downloaded which isn't on DVD. And I would love to box up all of our DVDs so that they're not taking up so much room sitting there... Looking pretty I suppose but wasting space.

Third, it is nice to be able to customize the movie a bit. You can skip all the crap at the beginning of movies. Although it is nice sometimes to see the previews. The subtitles on DVDs generally look crappy so pulling them out using some OCR and applying an actual font to them makes things look nicer. Stuff like that.

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Post by ilovejedd » Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:18 pm

We've ran out of shelf space in the apartment so I'm in the process of ripping all DVD's to 1:1 ISO (got a 12TB unRAID server) so we can put the discs in storage. I use AnyDVD HD to rip both DVD's and Blu-ray.

Encoding, I find too time-consuming and too much hassle to deal with.

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Post by stevea » Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:16 am

smilingcrow wrote: Not sure what Servers have to do in the context of desktop components!
If you don't understand, perhaps you should try reading this forum or the website articles of smallnetbuilder.com I suggested. There is a lot of demand for DIY SOHO servers with low_power/low_noise profiles. The reason desktop component are selected is that server components have substantially higher cost/performance. If yo uread this forum you'll also see that people discusss using laptop parts for their poewr profile.

A design that ……is very flawed from my perspective. It makes more sense for the mainstream market but that’s not my bag.
...
Why? Because I say it makes sense for the mainstream but not for me! Seems like I have a reasonable perspective as I can see what doesn’t work for me but also see that it is still a good mainstream solution.
Perhaps you are haviing language difficulty; "very flawed" means severely defective or blemished. A tulip isn't flawed just because you prefer daffodils. A subcompact isn't flawed because you require a truck. Clarksdale isn't flawed just b/c it doesn't meet your requirements.
stevea wrote: I think you are overly focussed on the i5-661 which is just one of these chips and I’m talking about the whole range.
If these CPUs meets yours requirements regardless of their on die GPU then just buy one and forget about the GPU.
That's an odd mischaracterization - did you even read my comments ?

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Post by ilovejedd » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:55 am

stevea wrote:If you don't understand, perhaps you should try reading this forum or the website articles of smallnetbuilder.com I suggested. There is a lot of demand for DIY SOHO servers with low_power/low_noise profiles. The reason desktop component are selected is that server components have substantially higher cost/performance. If you read this forum you'll also see that people discusss using laptop parts for their poewr profile.
Actually, I think he was referring to your use of PCI-X (legacy slot based on PCI usually used in server motherboards) to refer to PCI Express (PCI-e) which is what most video cards use rather than the actual use of desktop components for a server.

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Post by Kaleid » Mon Jan 25, 2010 5:48 am

Intel H55 Mobo Shootout - Integrated HD Graphics Showdown

http://www.hardwarezone.com/articles/vi ... =6&id=3119

Power consumption numbers are on page 12
i5 4670k (@4.2), Asus Z87-C, Mugen 2 revB (500rpm), Club 3d 280x with AC S1+ (700+500rpm), 24GB Kingston 1600Mhz, Crucial MX100 512GB SSD, 4TB+3TB WD Green (in softm. Scythe quietdrives), Soundblaster Z, Asus MG279Q, Corsair RM650i, Antec p180 (2x500rpm slipstream)

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Post by amyhughes » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:08 am

Kaleid wrote:Intel H55 Mobo Shootout - Integrated HD Graphics Showdown

http://www.hardwarezone.com/articles/vi ... =6&id=3119
I wonder if the power difference between the Intel and the other boards can be made up undervolting an i3, which you apparently can't do on the intel board.

Edit: I found a few posts like this one...
MtnHermit wrote:On my Gigabyte H55 MB I set the CPU voltage to 1.0V from the stock 1.2+V and got no power savings. It was explained to me that the Core i's all have sophisticated internal power saving circuitry (over 1-million transistors) such that undervolting is no longer useful. The CPU does that all internally and automatically.

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Post by gb115b » Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:59 am

any experience on the speedfan compatability of this board?

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