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Thread: Is an AMD 760G board and a Athlon II X2 240e good enough for blu-ray + HD?

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    Re: Is an AMD 760G board and a Athlon II X2 240e good enough for blu-ray + HD?

    I did tell you about an Ion motherboard with a dual core Atom. The IGP offloads the processing of HD content from the CPU and the Atom of course has very low power consumption.


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    Re: Is an AMD 760G board and a Athlon II X2 240e good enough for blu-ray + HD?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pob255 View Post
    On a side note, I thought the 780g was based on the 3xxx series where as the 785g is based on the 4xxx series and is a more powerful IGP
    Naah, 780G is basically a discreet 2400 rebadge as 3200, and the 785G is basically a discreet 3400 rebadged as a 4200. They're both 40 stream processor IGPs, where as the 4350 / 4550 are 80 stream processors.
    Quote Originally Posted by GaryRW View Post
    Come on ScaryJim - you know you want to figure out (and post ) power figures
    Yeah, I know I do, but a) I don't have a power meter yet, and b) it's Sunday

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    Re: Is an AMD 760G board and a Athlon II X2 240e good enough for blu-ray + HD?

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    I did tell you about an Ion motherboard with a dual core Atom. The IGP offloads the processing of HD content from the CPU and the Atom of course has very low power consumption.
    I haven't got any links to back it up, but I think I've seen people say that the atom + Ion boards are ok as long as the IGP does offload. As soon as you have a codec not working properly though, it can fall down. I honestly don't know whether that's true, but it worries me. It may not be rational (and almost certainly doesn't match with my low power aspirations), but I guess I just feel a 'proper' cpu will hold it's own for longer. Or at least a board that doesn't have the CPU hard wired to it will give me options later on.

    But the bigger problem, from memory, with the atom/ion boards is the lack of sata ports. Long term, I'd like space for maybe 4-5 drives - I suspect video will expand to fill the space, especially if I start buying and ripping blu-rays. I think the newer revision zotac boards are supposed to have more sata ports, but certainly I haven't seen the revised s775 zotac 9300 board surface yet. EDIT: there are 2 dual core atom + ION boards on Scan, one Zotac and one Asus, both have 3 sata + 1 esata. Most of the micro-atx boards I've been looking at have 6 or maybe 5+1 esata.

    I guess I'm trying to tick too many boxes at once, so I'll have to accept a compromise somewhere. Just got to choose where to make the compromise...

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    Re: Is an AMD 760G board and a Athlon II X2 240e good enough for blu-ray + HD?

    This mini ITX based 785G motherboard is worth a look if it is sold in the UK:

    http://www.siliconmadness.com/2009/0...ard-based.html


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    Re: Is an AMD 760G board and a Athlon II X2 240e good enough for blu-ray + HD?

    Hey Gary, just bumping this thread to let you know that I've acquired a power meter, and will be running a set of power draw tests on Friday evening - I'll probably post the figures in the reviews section of hexus.net, but I'll drop a comment on here to let you know they're available

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    Re: Is an AMD 760G board and a Athlon II X2 240e good enough for blu-ray + HD?

    ta

    I've ordered the case for the HTPC, on back order with Scan.

    Also found this PSU (http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/330W-...-pin-120mm-Fan) which seems well recommended and should do the job to start with. I did notice that scan have got a pico-psu effort inc an ac adapter for £63 (http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/150w-...-Power-Adaptor). I reckon I'll stick with the seasonic for now - I can measure power draw, & if peak draw is (as I hope) < 150w the HTPC can have the pico-psu and the seasonic can be used for the NAS box. I figure having a few large HDD's will mean a much higher peak draw, even if I can get idle draw to be very low.

    ps - I saw a thread on silentpc that had the idea of using a light bulb to gauge how accurate a plug in power meter is. The meter I've borrowed didn't do too bad - Out of 3 energy savings bulbs, 2 were spot on and one showed slightly under the rated wattage. So I figure it's roughly accurate (I'd seen suggestions they could be out by 25-50% quite easily.)

    & yes, I know I need help.

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    Re: Is an AMD 760G board and a Athlon II X2 240e good enough for blu-ray + HD?

    Quote Originally Posted by GaryRW View Post
    ta

    I've ordered the case for the HTPC, on back order with Scan.

    Also found this PSU (http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/330W-...-pin-120mm-Fan) which seems well recommended and should do the job to start with. I did notice that scan have got a pico-psu effort inc an ac adapter for £63 (http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/150w-...-Power-Adaptor). I reckon I'll stick with the seasonic for now - I can measure power draw, & if peak draw is (as I hope) < 150w the HTPC can have the pico-psu and the seasonic can be used for the NAS box. I figure having a few large HDD's will mean a much higher peak draw, even if I can get idle draw to be very low.

    ps - I saw a thread on silentpc that had the idea of using a light bulb to gauge how accurate a plug in power meter is. The meter I've borrowed didn't do too bad - Out of 3 energy savings bulbs, 2 were spot on and one showed slightly under the rated wattage. So I figure it's roughly accurate (I'd seen suggestions they could be out by 25-50% quite easily.)

    & yes, I know I need help.
    I would look at this PSU as it seems to be more efficient than the Seasonic according to the specs:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/350W-...ready!-24-740C


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    Re: Is an AMD 760G board and a Athlon II X2 240e good enough for blu-ray + HD?

    Thanks Cat

    I will google, but let me know if you've seen any reviews about that psu that cover noise levels. I know you help a lot of people round here, and I figure you may have such info at your finger tips

    EDIT: I meant to say that the SilentPC review of the Seasonic (albeit the 380w version) was very complimentary - http://www.silentpcreview.com/article753-page1.html. Anandtech also spoke well of the 330w one - http://www.anandtech.com/casecooling...oc.aspx?i=3096
    Last edited by GaryRW; 04-11-2009 at 06:19 PM.

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    Re: Is an AMD 760G board and a Athlon II X2 240e good enough for blu-ray + HD?

    According to this review the Enermax PSU is very quiet:

    [url]http://www.*********3D.net/reviews.php?/power_supply/enermax_eco80_350w_atx_psu/1

    The stars say "overclock"! IIRC, Hexus and the website which I linked too do not like each other!


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    Re: Is an AMD 760G board and a Athlon II X2 240e good enough for blu-ray + HD?

    I have a OCZ 400W PSU with a X4 620 underclocked, bout 50W idle and 99W full load. I can imagine a dual core will use may be 2/3 of my figures. Taking ram down to 2GB will save a couple watts too. Cut the harddrive and go for a USB flash drive will also cut a few watts. I just watched some blu-ray movies and it was drawing about 75W. My projector drew 250W in comparison.

    PSU efficiency is not really that much of a problem when the difference between 75% Eff and 85% Eff is only 5W, which is 44kWh/Yr. Which translate to may be 5 quids a year. No point getting an expensive PSU as you're not any better off. Even no name 500W PSU will handle the load fine. People had been running cheap (aka slow) machines fine with terrible 15 quids PSU for years.

    Unless you're going ITX a pico PSU is overkill.
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    Re: Is an AMD 760G board and a Athlon II X2 240e good enough for blu-ray + HD?

    old thread bumpage!

    Finally got round to doing a quick power test of my system with various voltage / "unleashing" (as ASUS call it) options, here's a quick run down of my results:

    Sempron 140, 1.32v: idle 70W, load 86W*
    Sempron 140, 1.04v: idle 64W, load 74W
    Unleashed:
    Athlon X2 4400e, 1.32V: idle 70W, load 104W
    Athlon X2 4400e, 1.04V: idle 64W, load 81W

    A few notes: all reading are approximate, I basically monitored the changes in W and plumped for the modal value. Idle is defined as the lowest stable reading that the computer settled at when just viewing the desktop. Load is defined as running a wPrime 32M test. The figures look a little high to me compared with this Hexus review (which used a much higher power Phenom II processor) - probably down to inefficiecies in the old 300W ATX PSU in my Antec Aria, and the IDE hard drive and CD drive. I'll rerun the figures once I've moved on to SATA peripherals and Win 7 Retail!

    The figures do go to show just how much power draw you can save by undervolting though: over 20% lower @ load under dual-core mode! If only I could undervolt the GPU too...

    *the Sempron 140 @ stock volts ran at about 90W for the first 20 seconds of the test, before dropping to 86W for the remaining 40 seconds. It did this consistently over 3 runs. All other modes ran at the same W throughout the test. I have no idea why!

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    Re: Is an AMD 760G board and a Athlon II X2 240e good enough for blu-ray + HD?

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    old thread bumpage!

    Finally got round to doing a quick power test of my system with various voltage / "unleashing" (as ASUS call it) options, here's a quick run down of my results:

    Sempron 140, 1.32v: idle 70W, load 86W*
    Sempron 140, 1.04v: idle 64W, load 74W
    Unleashed:
    Athlon X2 4400e, 1.32V: idle 70W, load 104W
    Athlon X2 4400e, 1.04V: idle 64W, load 81W

    A few notes: all reading are approximate, I basically monitored the changes in W and plumped for the modal value. Idle is defined as the lowest stable reading that the computer settled at when just viewing the desktop. Load is defined as running a wPrime 32M test. The figures look a little high to me compared with this Hexus review (which used a much higher power Phenom II processor) - probably down to inefficiecies in the old 300W ATX PSU in my Antec Aria, and the IDE hard drive and CD drive. I'll rerun the figures once I've moved on to SATA peripherals and Win 7 Retail!

    The figures do go to show just how much power draw you can save by undervolting though: over 20% lower @ load under dual-core mode! If only I could undervolt the GPU too...

    *the Sempron 140 @ stock volts ran at about 90W for the first 20 seconds of the test, before dropping to 86W for the remaining 40 seconds. It did this consistently over 3 runs. All other modes ran at the same W throughout the test. I have no idea why!
    Probably just a lag of the power regulators on the motherboard adjusting to the load. Not so much of a problem when the voltage is much lower. GPU voltage can be reduced but the saving wouldn't be great there, it didn't use much power to start with. It is cooled passively so even if you can reduce the voltage you could probably only save 2-3 watts, which might also cause your system to be unstable so not really worth it.
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    Re: Is an AMD 760G board and a Athlon II X2 240e good enough for blu-ray + HD?

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurleung View Post
    Probably just a lag of the power regulators on the motherboard adjusting to the load. Not so much of a problem when the voltage is much lower.
    Maybe, but it didn't do it with the unlocked dual-core at stock voltage!

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    Re: Is an AMD 760G board and a Athlon II X2 240e good enough for blu-ray + HD?

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    old thread bumpage!

    Finally got round to doing a quick power test of my system with various voltage / "unleashing" (as ASUS call it) options, here's a quick run down of my results:

    Sempron 140, 1.32v: idle 70W, load 86W*
    Sempron 140, 1.04v: idle 64W, load 74W
    Unleashed:
    Athlon X2 4400e, 1.32V: idle 70W, load 104W
    Athlon X2 4400e, 1.04V: idle 64W, load 81W

    A few notes: all reading are approximate, I basically monitored the changes in W and plumped for the modal value. Idle is defined as the lowest stable reading that the computer settled at when just viewing the desktop. Load is defined as running a wPrime 32M test. The figures look a little high to me compared with this Hexus review (which used a much higher power Phenom II processor) - probably down to inefficiecies in the old 300W ATX PSU in my Antec Aria, and the IDE hard drive and CD drive. I'll rerun the figures once I've moved on to SATA peripherals and Win 7 Retail!

    The figures do go to show just how much power draw you can save by undervolting though: over 20% lower @ load under dual-core mode! If only I could undervolt the GPU too...

    *the Sempron 140 @ stock volts ran at about 90W for the first 20 seconds of the test, before dropping to 86W for the remaining 40 seconds. It did this consistently over 3 runs. All other modes ran at the same W throughout the test. I have no idea why!
    Thank you I tried clicking the thank you button twice, but it disappears after the first click. (So I clicked thank you on the follow up post instead )

    I assume this isn't the rig in your specs listed on the left? If not, can you post up what is in the case - obviously if you've got a discrete card on top then the figures are higher than I'll be looking at, and I'll be well happy. I suspect you haven't got a discrete GPU though , but tbh, I'll be happy with 60w for the main HTPC. I may well experiment though and go for that biostar board for the 2nd NAS/HTPC box I'm planning for the loft.

    (I should make it clear at this point that I'm fully aware any potential cost savings due to a lower leccy bill will be dwarfed entirely by having to buy a 2nd motherboard if the 740g later turns out not to be capable of HD work if and when I press the loft box into HTPC service for the bedroom. Curiosity and the challenge is getting to me though )

    Jim - Have you unlocked the 2nd core on the sempron? if so, any chance you could also post figures with both cores on? On the other hand, if the figures already are for it with the 2nd core unlocked (fingers crossed ) any chance you could have a look at whether the power drops with only one core working?? I'm thinking that the sempron with only 1 core will be more than enough for the NAS box, especially before it's pressed into bedroom HTPC service.

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    I would look at this PSU as it seems to be more efficient than the Seasonic according to the specs:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/350W-...ready!-24-740C
    Cat - I can't find anything concrete on the noise level of that enermax psu. The enermax's generally seem to be well regarded, but the review you found was the closest I could find as well, and they do say "Unfortunately we can't really comment on the noise levels of the unit as the testing equipment tends to produce quite a din. But with our ears to the unit while running at full load, it certainly appeared to be whisper quiet."

    As for efficiency, the 80Plus results (Seasonic S12II 330w here: http://www.80plus.org/manu/psu/psu_r...30W_Report.pdf and Enermax 350w Enermax ECO80+ here: http://www.80plus.org/manu/psu/psu_r...50W_Report.pdf) suggest if anything the Seasonic is slightly ahead. Those results are at 115v though, and they only test at 20%, 50% & 100%. Even 20% of 330-350w is above the input/total power draw I'm hopefully looking at.

    Seems they're both decent psu's, and I have to accept that at the hopefully low power draw I'll have, any difference due to efficiency between those 2 will be a couple of watts at most. So I reckon I'll go with the Seasonic as SilentPC have said the noise level of that PSU is ok - if they say it's ok for noise, I'm sure it'll be ok with me! EDIT: - & if Scan actually get the Seasonic 330W in stock, it is ever so slightly cheaper
    Last edited by GaryRW; 09-11-2009 at 12:25 PM.

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    Re: Is an AMD 760G board and a Athlon II X2 240e good enough for blu-ray + HD?

    Quote Originally Posted by GaryRW View Post
    ..., can you post up what is in the case ...

    Jim - Have you unlocked the 2nd core on the sempron? if so, any chance you could also post figures with both cores on?...
    Sure: ASUS M4A785TD-M EVO, Sempron 140, 2GB Corsair DDR3-1333 ECC memory (1x2GB), 40GB IDE Hard drive (can't remember what brand!), IDE DVD-RW. Case is an Antec Aria, PSU is the original 300W ATX12V that comes with the case, so it's pushing 5 years old (it only has a 20pin motherboard connector but the rig is running quite happily off that!). To reiterate: I'm pretty sure that the efficiency of the PSU is rather poor (particularly since it's receiving < 33% load) and that's why my figures are quite high, but I don't have an appropriate higher efficiency PSU to retest with.

    I've already posted the unlocked figures - they're the ones for "Athlon X2 4400e" (the two lines after "Unleashed:")! At idle the power usage is identical, suggesting that the Athlon X2s have intelligent core gating that turns off all but 1 core when they're not being used: at load under stock volts the second core adds almost 20W (kind of what you'd expect given the Sempron is 45W TDP and the standard Athlon X2s are 65W ), but at reduced volts it only adds another 7W at full load. The unlocked dual core @ 1.05V actually uses less power than the single core @ stock volts! I will add a word of warning however, that since I posted these figures the unleashing has failed on boot twice - however simply going into the BIOS, setting the unleashing params again and rebooting has sorted it. It does suggest that the unleash is not 100% stable though...

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    Re: Is an AMD 760G board and a Athlon II X2 240e good enough for blu-ray + HD?

    Thanks Jim. On first reading I assumed the 2nd set of figures were the unlocked ones, but didn't understand the reference to 4400e - is that the old athlon naming scheme?? EDIT2 - google tells me that when you unlock the sempron, it shows up as Athlon II X2 4400e in CPU-Z. now I get it!

    Does cool and quiet work well (at all?) on the Evo board with the undervolting? It would seem to be from the power figures, but I have no idea what sort of power drops are normal. (hence badgering you )

    EDIT1: and googling for info on the efficiency of that Antec Aria PSU brings up...... this thread at number 6 in the results. Google works fast
    Last edited by GaryRW; 09-11-2009 at 03:44 PM.

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