AMD 785G/240e V Intel i3

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truckid
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AMD 785G/240e V Intel i3

Post by truckid » Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:42 am

Just as I got ready to order my components, I have been reading the merits of Intel i3/i5 and how power efficient they are and now not sure if I should go down Intel i3 route.

I'm looking to build an nearly always on NAS/File server (WoL, Suspend to RAM S3), primarily running ps3media server and squeezebox and some general computing tasks, for this I chose the following components :

Initial Specs
CPU - AMD 240e
MB - MSI 785GM-E51
CASE - Coolermaster 341 Elite
HDD - SAMSUNG 1TB F3 Eco HDD (already have HDD)
MEMORY - Crucial 4GB DDR3 (2x2Gb)
PSU - Seasonic S12II-330 Bronze PSU


What would be nice is to have a beefier CPU which I could then use as an occasional, general desktop too (dev/database work).

These articles suggest that the i3/i5 have a great balance of CPU power whilst being power efficient.

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/25w-perfo ... 31816.html

http://www.madshrimps.be/?action=getart ... rticID=980

In absolute terms the price difference isn't so much, about another £60, so I was thinking of buying this MB/CPU instead

i3 530
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Intel-Co ... MHz-Retail

MSI H55M-E33
http://www.scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=1125156

What I am not sure on is what would the Total power consumption be for the i3 platform against the AMD x2 components?

I expect the i3 to wipe the floor against the AMD 240e in terms of processing power but how would the two systems rate in terms of power consumption (at idle and load) ? The cost isn't much extra, and if the i3 consumes not much more power, I would much rather go for that.

I'd appreciate any advice. Please help put me out of misery, so I can finally order and start building !

Thanks

flyingsherpa
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Post by flyingsherpa » Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:12 am

Ha ha, of course you post this now... I just built my new PC over the weekend with that same cpu + mobo (-E65 version) + case. I wasn't watching the intel side so I didn't even know about the i3 being that low power consumption (one goal of my build). Oh well, I'm happy with it so far, though I'm not done yet. Still haven't decided on a replacement heatsink (stock one is too loud, which I expected, but I decided to try it anyway).

So not sure I can help you with your question other than to say that the 240e + 785g runs win7 and any video I throw at it just fine.
main: Ryzen 5 2400g + NH-U12S, Asrock B450 itx, Inwin A1 + Cosair SF450 Platinum, 16B Patriot Viper, WD Blue m.2 500G & 3TB WD Red
RIP: Athlon II 240e + Dark Knight, MSI 785GM-E65, Dell RM112, 4GB G-Skill, HVR-2250, 256GB Samsung 830 & 3TB WD Red, CM Elite 341
laptop: Dell XPS13 9343 FHD i5, 128GB SSD, blissfully silent almost all the time

surrealillusion
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Post by surrealillusion » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:32 am

Not to hijack the thread but what were your power consumption numbers like with the build you just finished with a 240e + 785 board? I just finished mine as well the other night and I'm currently working on tweaking it so my idle and stress power consumption numbers are as low as they can go.

truckid
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785G v i3

Post by truckid » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:37 am

flyingsherpa - I'm sure your system runs well, and if it wasnt for the fact that I need to do some database work, I would have ordered similar in a minute. - I may still go for the 785G/AMD option, open to suggestions

It seems that mines are conflicting requirements, i.e. low power consumption for NAS/HTPC but with enough 'oomph' for more intensive tasks. I think the i3 maybe the answer but would like to get advice on how much more the power consumption would be.

ilovejedd
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Re: AMD 785G/240e V Intel i3

Post by ilovejedd » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:54 am

truckid wrote:I expect the i3 to wipe the floor against the AMD 240e in terms of processing power but how would the two systems rate in terms of power consumption (at idle and load) ? The cost isn't much extra, and if the i3 consumes not much more power, I would much rather go for that.
Unfortunately, I couldn't find any benchmarks that directly compare the two systems, but SPCR did a review on the 87W TDP Core i5-661. At idle, I reckon the i3-530 would have around the same power consumption and perhaps show a 10W or so difference loaded as the Core i5 system.

So far, I haven't seen anyone posting that they got 25W idle power consumption with the Athlon 240e at stock settings. The 240e reviews in existence all seem to be useless as it's always paired with an extremely power-hungry video card. I mean seriously, who buys a GTX 285 to pair with an Athlon 240e?

By my estimate, an H55+i3-530 and 785G+240e would post roughly similar idle power consumption which is probably what you're going to be concerned about for the most part. The i3-530 might have higher power consumption during load, but it has the benefit of accomplishing tasks faster.

EDIT:
Apparently, Mike has a very nice post regarding this particular subject. Looks like my assumptions aren't too far off. The i5-661 seems to idle a wee bit lower at 18W compared to the 240e's ~25W (after accounting for power supply inefficiencies). Alas, it's more difficult to gauge load power consumption difference as Mike didn't do a CPU load test which stresses the system far more than it would be during normal operation. Best comparison would be 39~43W playing Blu-ray on the i5-661 and 35~39W 1080p on the 240e.

wickchucker
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Post by wickchucker » Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:19 pm

For reference, I just built a 24/7 server running WHS using the i3-530 (rest of the specs in my sig). It idles at 48 watts according to a Kill a Watt. That is with no bios tweaks or undervolting at all. With Prime95 running full bore, it maxed out at 95 watts.

I have not run any serious benchmarks on it and don't have another system to compare it to, but it idles a bit higher than I thought it was going to be after reading reviews on the i5 on scpr and Anand. But overall I am happy with the system, I use it mostly for usenet and torrent download (and back ups of course) and it can handle both sabnzbd and utorrent maxing out my 20mb cable connection without going above 10% cpu usage.

For a long while I was looking to build with the 240e, but it never came available for sale in the US, so along came the Clarkdale and I bit.
CPU: i3-530 Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H55M-S2H Cooler: Stock Intel
Ram: 2GB (2 x 1) Crucial DDR3 PC10600
Drives: 3.5" WD Caviar Blue 640GB 7200rpm (system) 2.5" Seagate 80GB 5,400rpm (outside strorage pool) Samsung SH-S223C DVDRW
Case: Antec P180 Mini PSU: Corsair CX400W 80+ OS: WHS

ilovejedd
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Post by ilovejedd » Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:19 pm

wickchucker wrote:For reference, I just built a 24/7 server running WHS using the i3-530 (rest of the specs in my sig). It idles at 48 watts according to a Kill a Watt. That is with no bios tweaks or undervolting at all. With Prime95 running full bore, it maxed out at 95 watts.

I have not run any serious benchmarks on it and don't have another system to compare it to, but it idles a bit higher than I thought it was going to be after reading reviews on the i5 on scpr and Anand.
Well, you do have a 3.5" HDD in there which I'd estimate adds around 4W to your power consumption. Another factor may be the motherboard. SPCR did a review on the Asus P7H55D-M EVO motherboard and power consumption was approximately 10W higher compared to the Intel DH55TC.

GaryRW
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Post by GaryRW » Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:21 pm

I did a similar build with the MSI 785GM-E45 just before xmas. 240e wasn't out so I went with a sempron 140 which I then unlocked to be dual core (suprisingly unlocking made virtually no difference to idle power draw at all, guess the 2nd core isn't powered down at all??)

Anyway, there is a thread on Hexus detailing the process I went through. It's titled "Is an AMD 760G board and a Athlon II X2 240e good enough for blu-ray + HD?" but I can't post the URL here due to post count. There are power figures in that thread - it was 40w at idle before the tv card went in. That was with a pico type psu though.

I guess the really relevant bit is that unless things have changed since I last looked, you can't undervolt the CPU on that particular MSI - the e45 board. Might be worth checking specifically on the E51 board if you planned on undervolting. Normally I wouldn't mention that kind of thing, but on this site I guess is more likely to be relevant 8)

I have still been planning on a low power NAS/HTPC for the loft (I've managed to work out how to make up very long VGA cables using cat5 to use a tv in the kitchen, planning on the box being in the loft...) Now though I'm thinking that a core i3 box would make more sense as a file server + replacement for the aging p4 box that my wife uses as a desktop.

Whichever way you jump, I'd be interested in the power figures :D

Edit - oh, & I'd seen that Tom's hardware article earlier today. The 220w FSP PSU they use that is 80Plus certified is sold by Linitx.com in the UK, albeit out of stock. Might knock a few watts off the idle draw depending on how enthusiastic you are about the idle figure.

truckid
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H55 MB

Post by truckid » Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:46 am

Looks like the MSI H55M-E33 and Intel i3 530 is the 'perfect' solution, or so I thought...


Just noticed quite a few postings where users can have 'issues' with the H55M-E33 not being able to wake from S3 Sleep ;

http://forum-en.msi.com/index.php?topic ... msg1019084

The MB seems ideal otherwise, as it is cheap and the MSI APS technology seems to work, i.e. their boards seem to be some of most power efficient.

I'm set on H55/i3 combination, is it safe to assume that the MSI issue will be fixed in a bios update? It’s a fairly serious bug but I not sure I will find an alternative with similar efficiency around this price point

surrealillusion
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Post by surrealillusion » Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:29 am

Well I hopped onto the 785 bandwagon and put this together:

AMD X2 240
Gigabyte GA-MA785GM-US2H
2x2 Gig Mushkin EM2 DDR2 RAM
Seagate ST3500630AS 500GB HDD
Pioneer DVR-218LBK
OCZ StealthXtreme 400W PSU

Just got XP loaded onto it last night and I'm going to use Media Portal (can't justify spending at least another $100 on 7 Home Premium when I've got legal copies of XP lying around at home).

The system idles at about 45W right now (bios undervolt down to 1.125 from 1.425). CnQ drops the CPU down to 0.79 on idle. Still need to run the media tests and I might swap in a BR-ROM for the DVD burner.

When you do get building the system I'd love to see the idle numbers on a i3 setup (probably going to be my next rig for a NAS/storage server).

flyingsherpa
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Post by flyingsherpa » Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:26 am

surrealillusion wrote:Not to hijack the thread but what were your power consumption numbers like with the build you just finished with a 240e + 785 board? I just finished mine as well the other night and I'm currently working on tweaking it so my idle and stress power consumption numbers are as low as they can go.
So far it's idling at about 50W... but this is using an ancient generic PSU I had lying around just for testing. I'll be putting a Dell RM112 80+ gold in there, hopefully this weekend. I'm hoping that makes a big difference as I was surprised to see the idle that high. I might try turning off Aero in win7, not sure if that makes a real difference in power consumption or not. I'll post in the Gallery when I'm all done, but it might be a week or two.
main: Ryzen 5 2400g + NH-U12S, Asrock B450 itx, Inwin A1 + Cosair SF450 Platinum, 16B Patriot Viper, WD Blue m.2 500G & 3TB WD Red
RIP: Athlon II 240e + Dark Knight, MSI 785GM-E65, Dell RM112, 4GB G-Skill, HVR-2250, 256GB Samsung 830 & 3TB WD Red, CM Elite 341
laptop: Dell XPS13 9343 FHD i5, 128GB SSD, blissfully silent almost all the time

surrealillusion
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Post by surrealillusion » Wed Mar 03, 2010 5:13 pm

What are all the components you have in your build? I found that going from Vista to XP I dropped an extra 2W during idle so disabling Aero may net you an extra watt or two.

frostedflakes
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Post by frostedflakes » Wed Mar 03, 2010 5:58 pm

I bet 240e+785G would be pretty comparable to the i3-530+H55 in terms of power consumption. i3-530 offers much better performance, though, so if you're looking for max performance per watt and the extra money for the Intel setup isn't a problem, that's what you need to go for.
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truckid
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Alternative H55 MB

Post by truckid » Thu Mar 04, 2010 9:59 am

OK, so the it’s a no-go on the MSI H55M-E33, outstanding issues with it not being able to wake from S3 Sleep.

The nearest alternative (for which I can find data) is the Gigabyte GA-H55M-UD2H.

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showprodu ... =MB-233-GI


Its has a few more features (which I would never use) but it also has solid capacitors and 2oz Cooper which should make it more robust/reliable.

However the power consumption figures are more than the MSI:

http://hardwarezone.com/articles/view.p ... id=6&pg=12

Are there any other MBs I should Consider?

To recap, I’m looking for a MB with the following specs

'Budget' H55
Matx form factor
Minimum 4 RAM slots
Min 4 SATA


Will never find the 'perfect' MB, should I just bite the bullet and go with the Gigabyte and live with the higher Power Consumption (especially high on Idle)

surrealillusion
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Post by surrealillusion » Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:21 am

5w on a 24/7 system works out to:

5w*24 = 120W a day
120w*30 =3.5kWh a month


an extra 3.5kWh a month is like .50 cents where I live. $6 over the course of a year isn't a whole lot. Going from a 120W Quad core setup to a 60W dual core HTPC setup on the other hand is a bit better since you're effectively reducing your bill in half. Gotta weigh the pros and cons for how much money you're really saving.

gsmithsa
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Re: AMD 785G/240e V Intel i3

Post by gsmithsa » Thu Mar 04, 2010 5:34 pm

truckid wrote:Just as I got ready to order my components, I have been reading the merits of Intel i3/i5 and how power efficient they are and now not sure if I should go down Intel i3 route.
I'm looking to build an nearly always on NAS/File server (WoL, Suspend to RAM S3), primarily running ps3media server and squeezebox and some general computing tasks, for this I chose the following components :

Initial Specs
CPU - AMD 240e
MB - MSI 785GM-E51
CASE - Coolermaster 341 Elite
HDD - SAMSUNG 1TB F3 Eco HDD (already have HDD)
MEMORY - Crucial 4GB DDR3 (2x2Gb)
PSU - Seasonic S12II-330 Bronze PSU


What would be nice is to have a beefier CPU which I could then use as an occasional, general desktop too (dev/database work).

Wow, this thread is exactly what I've been scouring the net for !

I'm after a similar setup, and was thinking that the core i3 would be a better fit for low power with enough beef for transcoding video (ps3mediaserver)...

However i've read that a lot of people seem to have issues with Realtek LANs being bottlenecks/generally flakey, so I was thinking of going with an onboard intel solution. Is the DH55TC the only H55/H57 mATX board with intel LAN ? All the others out there seem to use Realtek...

Also, if i wanted to do software RAID, can I do this with an H55 ?

Thanks

truckid
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Gigabyte GA-H55M-USB3 ?

Post by truckid » Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:15 am

surrealillusion - Very true. In the drive to get the most efficient system, lost sight of what the actual cost impact is. An extra 5w works out to about an extra £5 per year - hardly breaking the bank.

gsmithsa - Looks like you are in similar situation to me, the i3/H55 combo seems like the ideal solution. I didn't reliase there were Realtek LAN issues. Shouldn't impact me much, I am running my network off 54Mb Homeplugs and the 30Mb throughput is enough for SD video. As the H55 chipset matures, hopefully driver/software update should iron out any niggling issues.

So it looks like it was going to be the Gigabyte GA-H55M-UD2H MB, but for abit more I can get the following :

Gigabyte GA-H55M-USB3
http://www.scan.co.uk/Search.aspx?q=LN32344
I'm thinking it’s better to future proof and get a couple of USB3 ports, but again, it comes down to how much extra power this MB uses. If significantly more (20w+) it may not be worth it.


Just read this -
viewtopic.php?t=57629&highlight=gah55musb3

wkeller has the I3/Gigabyte USB3 MB combo and amazingly he gets it to Idle at 37 W ! I know he is using a 2.5"HDD and 150W PSU but even so it sounds too good to be true.

The difference is that I will be using a Samsung EcoGreen F2 1.5TB HDD and a Seasonic SII 330W PSU. Could I expect power consumption figures not significantly more?

Back to top

gsmithsa
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Re: Gigabyte GA-H55M-USB3 ?

Post by gsmithsa » Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:35 am

truckid wrote:
So it looks like it was going to be the Gigabyte GA-H55M-UD2H MB, but for abit more I can get the following :

Gigabyte GA-H55M-USB3
I'm thinking it’s better to future proof and get a couple of USB3 ports, but again, it comes down to how much extra power this MB uses. If significantly more (20w+) it may not be worth it.

Back to top

There's an anandtech review of the H55/H57 mobos that I can't link to due to post count, but it doesn't seem like the usb3 version uses much more power...

surrealillusion
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Post by surrealillusion » Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:58 am

You will probably see the difference of a few watts as a laptop hard drive has a very low idle wattage (I plugged in an 80 gig 5400 RPM drive the other night and it pulled 1w idle in my atom system). While your Seasonic is an 80 Plus PSU at such a low constant load I would hazard to guess it won't be as efficient as a 150W Pico PSU so you may lose an extra watt or two there. Overall though at 40W idle you'll still be running the cost of a 60W lightbulb a month which ain't too shabby!

andymcca
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Post by andymcca » Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:02 am

GaryRW wrote:(suprisingly unlocking made virtually no difference to idle power draw at all, guess the 2nd core isn't powered down at all??)
When I unlock my sempron 140 my idle AC input increases 13W my load AC input increases 22W. Not sure why yours would not be similar.
Currently running Mint 14 MATE on all machines.
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flyingsherpa
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Post by flyingsherpa » Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:15 am

surrealillusion wrote:What are all the components you have in your build? I found that going from Vista to XP I dropped an extra 2W during idle so disabling Aero may net you an extra watt or two.
Pretty barebones at the moment... just:

MSI 785GM-E65
Athlon II 240e
4GB G. Skill 1.5v DDR3 RAM
really crappy old generic PSU
Win7 pro x64 running Aero

I'll eventually put a better PSU and tuner card in there.
main: Ryzen 5 2400g + NH-U12S, Asrock B450 itx, Inwin A1 + Cosair SF450 Platinum, 16B Patriot Viper, WD Blue m.2 500G & 3TB WD Red
RIP: Athlon II 240e + Dark Knight, MSI 785GM-E65, Dell RM112, 4GB G-Skill, HVR-2250, 256GB Samsung 830 & 3TB WD Red, CM Elite 341
laptop: Dell XPS13 9343 FHD i5, 128GB SSD, blissfully silent almost all the time

truckid
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Gigabyte H55M-USB3

Post by truckid » Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:17 am

http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=3748&p=7

After discounting the MB with i3 CPU, the Gigabyte is still 9-13W more power hungry at load against the lowest H55. Its sits in the middle of the H55 motherboards for efficiency, though it is more feature laden

embeddedbob
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Post by embeddedbob » Tue Mar 09, 2010 2:43 am

I wish I could just decide!

Looking for a mATX setup that supports ECC memory.

Core i3 530 - £93
MB that supports ECC?
4GB DDR3 ECC RAM - £115

vs

AMD 235e - £53
Asus mATX board ECC Ram DDR3 - ~£65
4GB DDR3 ECC RAM - £115


Maybe with this PSU: Seasonic Micro Atx SS300-SFD 300 Watt
http://www.xcase.co.uk/Seasonic-Micro-A ... -micro.htm

I cant find anywhere to buy any of the 250watt gold rated units... :roll:

I think the AMD setup is it :?:

Whats the difference between the AMD chipsets: 740 790...etc Ive been looking at 785 as that is used in all low power reviews.

So far the AMD solution looks better as it will be running a server and the FreeBSD kernel can control the freq so they can be set very low when idle. Just got to decide on this and an SSD...

Mats
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Post by Mats » Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:07 am

Another thing to consider is that socket 1156 is a dead end. Well, that is if you care about possibilities to upgrade in the future.
AM3 is supposed to work with the upcoming 32 nm Bulldozer CPU's next year, even though there will be a AM3r2 socket too.
Socket 1156 will be replaced with S1155, since the upcoming Sandy Bridge CPU's require it.

Since you care about low cost I think you should consider a £22 Sempron 140 and unlock the second core, although there are no guarantees that it will work! :twisted:

Mats
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Post by Mats » Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:12 am

I guess you've seen this thread, it's DDR2 ECC but still a good read.

I think the 760G is the way to go. Here's the AM3 counterpart, you have to figure out if it supports ECC for yourself, I have no idea.

Edit: No ECC support.

embeddedbob
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Post by embeddedbob » Wed Mar 10, 2010 1:58 am

Thanks for the tips mats. The thing is that the asus board has all the peripherals I need and is the only board that explicitly states ECC. I think I can lower the frequenncy and voltage to save power.

Ill be happy if the system draws <=40watts on idle (with the very basic tweaks in the BIOS and cool'n'quiet) although I cant find anyone else who has this system and how much power its likely to draw by default.

GaryRW
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Re: AMD 785G/240e V Intel i3

Post by GaryRW » Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:36 pm

truckid - I've been thinking along the same lines as you and have been watching this thread. I was originally thinking of just a NAS/always on fileserver build, but then saw the power figures and processing power of the core i3's. On most of the reviews I've seen, the core i3 slugs it out with the old core 2 quad 6600 pretty well, with honours (just) going to the i3 depending on what you're planning on actually using it for. So it seemed wrong to have all that processing power going to waste when my wife is still using my old p4 dell! Hopefully it'll be quiet enough to be always on where it'll be sat...

Anyway, the point is I have ordered the Intel bog standard DH55TC board. No real options in the bios, but the post you have linked to about the MSI board and sleep issues put me off that one, and the Intel and MSI seem leagues above [edit: should that be below??] the other boards on power. I figured it will simply stop me tweaking too much and causing stability problems if the bios options aren't there in the first place

I have also ordered the same seasonic S12II bronze PSU you have mentioned (yes, from Scan :)) and 2 x 2gb of ram, & the core i3 530 so should be very similar to the build you have in mind. I might also be using the same samsung F2 1.5tb ecogreen drive as well. Not quite figured out what I'm going to do with drives yet...

I've got a power monitor thingy, so will post figures when it's up and running.

truckid
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Intel i3

Post by truckid » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:13 pm

GaryRW - I've been busy and haven't been online in the last few days. Would be very interested in the figures you get for your system.

GaryRW
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Post by GaryRW » Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:20 pm

Well - all up and running. Right now it is idling on the desktop. I have it at 34-35w total draw. The config is:

Intel DH55TC board (matx, H55 - all stock everything)
Core i3 530 (stock volt + speed, even stock heatsink + fan!)
330w Seasonic S12II bronze PSU
Crucial 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333MHz/PC3-10600 Memory Kit CL9 1.5V
Antec Mini P180 - running both the standard fans at low
Random old Sata DVD drive
Samsung 500gb drive - HD501LJ - spinpoint T166

I reckon to get 35w at idle without really doing anything over the top is pretty good. I guess a lower wattage PSU + laptop drive could easily shave off a few watts (as per that Tom's Hardware article recently, could be as much as 10w). I plan on making this a NAS server with about 4-5 HDD's in though, so I think the 330w seasonic is sensible, or at least not stupidly overpowered.

I'll try taking the DVD drive out and see what difference that makes, and may have a look through the bios to see if there is anything I can switch off (doubt it though, the board is fairly spartan)

I think the HDD may have gone to idle mode - just dropped to 33w...
& now the monitor has just switched off and down to 30w :) (as it'll spend most of its time as a monitor off NAS box)

I should say that I think the power meter I am using is at least roughly in the right ball-park. I've tried plugging energy saving bulbs into it and they were mostly within 1w of what they should have been according to the bulb's power rating. I know that's probably not the most accurate test, but hopefully the figures I'm getting are not out by 50% or so!

Edit: only 2w in s3 sleep as well

gsmithsa
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 4:44 pm
Location: Aus

Post by gsmithsa » Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:41 pm

GaryRW wrote: I think the HDD may have gone to idle mode - just dropped to 33w...
& now the monitor has just switched off and down to 30w :) (as it'll spend most of its time as a monitor off NAS box)

Edit: only 2w in s3 sleep as well
That's great !

What OS are you planning on using for your NAS ?

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