Do you have a question? Post it now! No Registration Necessary. Now with pictures!
- Posted on
March 28, 2009, 9:35 pm
rate this thread
Re: Low power consumption motherboard and processor combinations?
Are you looking for something more powerful than a
Netbook, or less powerful, in terms of computing
For not very powerful solutions, there are mini-ITX boards
that run on reasonably low power.
For desktop systems, it is harder to get an honest answer.
For example, you may see a processor listed as 65W, but
when you actually measure it, it draws 36W while running two
copies of Prime95. The TDP is not necessarily a good indicator
of what will happen. (Those numbers are for my Core2 Duo.)
There are some low power desktop processors that were
"imaginary". I can show you a web page, with their characteristics
listed, but you cannot buy one. They were apparently all
bought up by an HTPC manufacturer.
This is a 35W processor from Intel, a single core. A 65nm Celeron.
Chances are, a cheap motherboard ($50 kind) mated with this, may have lower
power consumption than a $150 one.
AMD has a bunch of 45W processors, both single and dual core ones. AM2 socket.
Example of what I would guess, would be a low power AM2 motherboard.
SIS and VIA chipsets tend to be lower power and lower performance.
VIA is concentrating on chipsets for mini-ITX, so they're out of
the picture. SIS is still there, but it is hard to tell for how
long. This board has a relatively small heatsink on the Northbridge,
and no heatsink on the Southbridge. Only Intel offers power numbers
for their chipsets, and for the rest, we have to guess. I use the size
of the heatsink, as one indicator.
PC CHIPS A33G V1.0 AM2 SiS 761 GX Micro ATX
Intel, ATI, and Nvidia chipsets, tend to be 20W+ designs, so while
they have whizzy features (PCI Express x16 version 2 interfaces),
or support for DX10, they don't necessarily count as low power
solutions. It is possible, with their stuff, that when the computer
is idle, the chipset draws more power than the processor does.
Some of the processors at idle, are down around 10W or less.
In any case, when this question has come up before, I've never
been able to provide amazing performance and super low power
(solar panel powering, for example). You can build modern systems
which use less power than previous generations, but if you
try to squeeze the power too much, the box becomes useless
(unless all you want to do, is take notes in a text editor).
I haven't scratched the surface on "mobile" chipset solutions. Sometimes,
you can find a motherboard with a mobile chipset, and the processor
for it costs hundreds of dollars. You end up with a premium priced
system, with not a lot to show for it, when you're finished. If
you're searching for that, then get out your web browser and
start looking. They're not exactly mainstream, and when they
are offered, they're not for sale for very long.