Hi, I'm here again with another of my... strange questions :bigsmile:
I'm trying to build a computer with two main main priorities: the lowest power consumption and the lowest noise production. I'm not planning to use this machine for video encoding or heavy gaming, so it's not necessary the most powerful CPU or graphic card.
Browsing the net, I found an interesting solution: the new Intel Atom CPUs. According to the wikipedia, these processors are very low consuming.
There is a very interesting mainboard using these new CPUs, the Intel D945GCLF. This board seems a really promising one regarding the power consumption, but....
... but then I found this review
So is the Atom really low-power in practice? The processor is, yes. For the platform aimed at NetTop (low-cost desktop computers), the answer is yes, but... Why the â€œbutâ€? Because the chipset used uses a lot of power and the processor is listed at a TDP of 4 W, compared to 2.4 W for the mobile versions. Our test motherboard consumes 59 W in standby, and we reached 62 W under maximum load (with a 3.5" hard disk and a 1 GB DDR2 DIMM). Obviously, these values are what we measured for the complete platform, not only the motherboard, and they donâ€™t take power-supply losses into account (our test model has a yield of approximately 80%). Thatâ€™s both a little and a lot â€“ itâ€™s not much for a desktop computer, of course, but itâ€™s a lot in absolute terms. We should add that we recently tested a motherboard based on a 1.5 GHz Via C7, and the configuration drew less power with the same components: 49 W at idle and 59 W under load (always measured at the AC outlet).
Basically, these mini-ITX boards that are promising a very low power consumption are actually consuming a lot of power!!!
I was on the verge of buying the Intel D945GCLF board, but after reading the article at Tom's hardware, I decided to not buy that board anymore because for the same price I can get a full ATX or micro-ATX board with integrated videocard that probably will have a lower power consumption.
My question is: there is a way to find the power consumption of a mainboard? I read many reviews, but this feature is never tested. It seems that for reviewers only the overclocking features are important to evaluate a mainboard :doh:
Browsing the wikipedia I was able to find that Intel Celeron 440 consumes only 35W, but these processors are not provided with energy saving features like latest 45nm CPUs currently available in the market. Because of 45 nm CPUs are for the most 65W processors, can I buy safely the Celeron 440 or the 45nm CPUs will guarantee me a lower power consumption?
According to this site, the Gigabyte GA G31M S2L is the "most energy-efficient performance available today", but I'm not sure that this information is correct. There is no information about this at Gygabyte website.
Can someone suggest me a mainboard and a CPU to build a system with a very low power consumption? To reduce costs and to increase the energy-efficiency, a board with integrated video card is the preferred choice, also because it will be not necessary to have another fan spinning and producing noise. I will not use this board to watch movies, so it's not needed a powerful graphic card.
Another advantage of the celeron 440 should be (if I'm not wrong) the possibility to cool the processor passively (remember that a silent PC is one of the main priorities).
Thanks everybody for suggestions