mini-ITX mobo, low wattage for AMD Athlon II X2 240 CPU

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lagagnon
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mini-ITX mobo, low wattage for AMD Athlon II X2 240 CPU

Post by lagagnon » Thu May 06, 2010 11:18 am

I want to build a mini-ITX low wattage system based around an Athlon II X2 240 CPU (Socket AM3) which I already have. I need some mini-ITX motherboard suggestions, that will do undervolting.

Any ideas appreciated.

Jay_S
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Post by Jay_S » Thu May 06, 2010 11:50 am

Selection is pretty limited on the AMD mini-ITX side. But Sapphire has a new mini-ITX 785G AM3 board, model# IPC-AM3DD785G

Product page:
http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentatio ... =319&lid=1

Article: "AMD Based Nettop Is Real: Athlon II X2 250u CPU and Sapphire IPC-AM3DD785G Mainboard Review"
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/di ... 50u_3.html

But...
the above Xbitlabs article wrote:There are no problems in its BIOS Setup, either. The only issue we can find with it is the scarcity of settings. The BIOS only offers such basic options as turning the integrated controllers on/off, choosing the boot device order, or setting up the system date and time. There are no options for overclocking or downclocking the CPU or graphics core. You cannot change the clock rates or voltages of the components. There are even no options to set the frequency and timings for system memory.
it's the only jib I got, baby

ilovejedd
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Post by ilovejedd » Thu May 06, 2010 12:18 pm

Too bad we still don't have any idea regarding pricing.

Jay_S
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Post by Jay_S » Thu May 06, 2010 1:02 pm

According to some guy on Hexus.net it's supposed to retail "around the £100 mark".

Honestly, after reading that review I have a hard time liking the Athlon II X2 250u / 785G combo as a HTPC or low-powered desktop. Insufficient power for (software decoding of) 24fps 1080p flash, idle power consumption within 1W of the E3300/GF9000 system, and the AMD system actually consumes a few W more at 1080p playback.
it's the only jib I got, baby

ilovejedd
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Post by ilovejedd » Thu May 06, 2010 3:49 pm

Jay_S wrote:Honestly, after reading that review I have a hard time liking the Athlon II X2 250u / 785G combo as a HTPC or low-powered desktop. Insufficient power for (software decoding of) 24fps 1080p flash, idle power consumption within 1W of the E3300/GF9000 system, and the AMD system actually consumes a few W more at 1080p playback.
It can support other AMD processors, though. Besides, the 250u seems like it might be OEM only, anyway. At the 125W TDP mentioned, theoretically, even a Thuban will work. I think a regular Athlon II X2 245 Regor should work nicely with this board and deliver on par or better performance compared to the Celeron E3400/GF9300 combo. Albeit, power consumption might be a bit worse. As mentioned, though, the biggest issue here is pricing.

The E3300 is cheaper than Athlon II X2 processors. Sure, you can unlock some cheap Semprons but that's not always guaranteed. I think the 785G chipset is also limited to stereo LPCM over HDMI (but it does do 5.1 DD/DTS bitstreaming). Granted, GeForce 9300 and LGA-775 is considered old tech, nonetheless, it's old tech that works (and quite well at that). The Zotac GF9300-G-E can be found for $110. Pair it with a $50 Celeron E3300 and for $160, you've got a very capable machine with good PQ, CUDA-support and 7.1 channel LPCM over HDMI. The only thing it still lacks is HD audio bitstreaming.

There's also competition from Clarkdale (albeit, it's currently no good for 24p). ECS came out with a really inexpensive LGA-1156 Mini-ITX board. That means you can now build a Clarkdale-based Mini-ITX PC for $200 (i3-530, $120 + H55H-I, $80) or even less with promotions.

Both Intel and NVIDIA are able to charge a premium for their products and still sell quite well. Unfortunately, AMD doesn't seem to have that same luxury. 785G Mini-ITX boards need to be priced below either of the above solutions if they are to supplant Intel in the Mini-ITX arena.

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