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Low Power consumption mATX based rig to run FSX

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September 23, 2013 10:26:11 AM

Right now I have a dual-boot system running Windows 7 on a 1.5TB SATA drive and XP running on a Samsung 640 SSD for FSX, an Athlon 64 X2 Dual core 3600+ 1.9GHz, a Gforce 210 video card, and 4GB memory installed in a M2-MPV-vm mb. The mATX system is in an HTPC case (monitor on top) which is a setup I’m kind of stuck with due to space limitations. I run Microsoft FSX maybe one hour roughly once a week. I get fairly good performance with FSX, but I can’t max out the settings without slowing the frame rate significantly. It would be great to buy a new setup with a medium performance i5 quad core system and a medium performance video card but these things are really power hungry. The system stays on at least 12 hours per day. I calculate at $.20 per kWh running a 200w system is going to cost about $170 per year just for the electricity!
Can someone suggest some low-power components that will significantly improve my performance? Thanks.
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September 23, 2013 12:06:18 PM

Okay, the HTPC will stay on 12 hours per day, but what will it be doing during those 12 hours?

Both AMD and Intel CPU consume very little power when idling, but if they are active then AMD CPUs will consume more power than Intel CPUs. Therefore, I assume you want to avoid AMD CPUs in that case. For example, the power difference between a core i5-4670k and FX-8350 when encoding video at stock speed is a little more than 100w with the FX... umm.... winning this contest because it consumes more power... (higher is better...)

Do you have a budget?
September 23, 2013 7:53:54 PM

jaguarskx said:
Okay, the HTPC will stay on 12 hours per day, but what will it be doing during those 12 hours?

Both AMD and Intel CPU consume very little power when idling, but if they are active then AMD CPUs will consume more power than Intel CPUs. Therefore, I assume you want to avoid AMD CPUs in that case. For example, the power difference between a core i5-4670k and FX-8350 when encoding video at stock speed is a little more than 100w with the FX... umm.... winning this contest because it consumes more power... (higher is better...)

Do you have a budget?


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September 23, 2013 7:54:39 PM

jaguarskx said:
Okay, the HTPC will stay on 12 hours per day, but what will it be doing during those 12 hours?

Both AMD and Intel CPU consume very little power when idling, but if they are active then AMD CPUs will consume more power than Intel CPUs. Therefore, I assume you want to avoid AMD CPUs in that case. For example, the power difference between a core i5-4670k and FX-8350 when encoding video at stock speed is a little more than 100w with the FX... umm.... winning this contest because it consumes more power... (higher is better...)

Do you have a budget?


September 23, 2013 8:17:12 PM

No specific budget as of yet.
Ok.. 99%+ of the time the computer is idling, 0-1% CPU usage. I did some measurements in this regard. I have a AC ammeter and I measured (watts) 89w idling win 7, IE10 on the screen.
130 w win XP, FSX crankin'... 24 fps flying etc.
In both cases 20w the somewhat wimpy gForce 210 contributes 20w of the TPD.
So, I'm concerned that adding even a moderately robust graphics card will really increase the TPD regardless of what new mb/cpu is installed.
I'd be willing to use a hot video board if I could turn it's power off when not in use and use an internal gpu on a new cpu. I'd be willing to use an HDMI A-B switch when I need the hot video board. Ideas?

Or a related question, are the newer i5 or equivalent AMD offering that have on board graphics going to perform significantly better than my present setup with the old AMD and Gforce 210? thanks
!