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G31 And E7200: The Real Low-Power Story

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October 10, 2008 7:16:11 AM

Nice article. I'd like to see the team now take this budget system and tweak it into a gaming machine. New power supply, overclock it, 4870 GPU and see what this budget platform can do when pushed. Compare it to a stock clock E8600, X48 motherboard, 8 GB of RAM and a 4870. Although low power systems may be the rage right now, when i turn a 1,500w electric heater on in the bathroom when i take a shower in the morning it's not a huge concern for me if one mobo is 31w at idle and the other is 38w.
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October 10, 2008 7:56:15 AM

You don't leave your heater on 24/7 in the bathroom - 8 watts here 8 watts there, it adds up (if you keep your PC on all the time)
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October 10, 2008 9:43:54 AM

alex57340141As far as turning this machine into a mean, green gaming machine, I would suggest an e2140-bsel pin modded to 1333 fsb, a hitachi 500GB sataII drive-4w/8.3 idle/max, and a hd 4670 videocard-no external power plug required. This would make a very potent rig. I know this because that's what I have on the foxconn board used in this article One last thing, with case, p/w supply and 2Gb ram the total cost (including shipping) was less than $300.


Sounds like a nice build!
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Anonymous
October 10, 2008 10:50:35 AM

Yes, from the silentpcreview article, it seems like 740g or 780g could be a better choice.
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October 10, 2008 11:30:38 AM

ano2Yes, from the silentpcreview article, it seems like 740g or 780g could be a better choice.


Ya most people would do just fine with an amd system. But TOM's got new free computers, car's, spaceships from INTEL and NVIDA so nowadays tom's are a EPIC bias.
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October 10, 2008 12:38:21 PM

I don't get it? These mobo/cpu combos are so lame. The atom on a desktop mobo is also very lame. How far should people go to save a few watts of power. These machines are in my opinion totally useless.

Why not just buy a laptop? I have a Dell M1330 with Nvidia card graphics fast dual core processor that easily runs Vista w/Aero, runs Photoshop CS3 I use to edit field RAW photography, and plays HalfLife 2 at full res with ease. It draws around 30W at full load and 20W in idle, and has HDMI out for watching movies, not to mention how small it is. It dual boots both Vista/WinXP.
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October 10, 2008 12:46:01 PM

Now that we have desktop systems that approach laptop-level power requirements, I would say that in a year that we should have some really good choices on the market for low-power-consumption desktops.

That is... if the world still exists as we know it in a year...
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October 10, 2008 1:17:54 PM


warezme you are a retard.

Where I work there are currently 120 desktops between 4 levels. Each desktop is on 24/7. If i can save 10 watts on each of those desktops im saving thousands of dollars per year. Get it now? Just because you are a gaming scrub with no clue doesnt mean that all technology should appeal to you.
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October 10, 2008 1:33:26 PM

Skythra your apparently nothing but an A hole of major proportions and if you honestly thing your users will get by on the measly performance offered by these equally tarded setups as you are, to save "10 wats" than go for it because it sounds like your deserve them....
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October 10, 2008 1:57:40 PM

Calm down folks. Warezme, there are people interested in these setups, they just need to run internets and word. While the components are indeed weak it is not lame to write about them, esp for business perspective.

Skythra, no need to call someone retard for expressing an opinion which I agree with by the way. These desktops are really nerfed and a laptop would fit nicely as prices have dropped a lot.

Carry on now.
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October 10, 2008 2:03:00 PM

Warezme:

Get serious. This machine has ample power for the standard office productivity applications, which probably represents 90% of the use of computers in the world, including in the corporate sector. The difference between these builds and a stacked $2000 machine is almost totally invisible to such users. Indeed, the only people that would really notice the difference are the people writing check to the utility companies.
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October 10, 2008 3:03:52 PM

I like AMD but I am no AMD fan boy. The only AMD X2 chips that come close to E7200 is 6000+ and 6400+ and they use a lot more power. In addition, if for some reason, I need more power than 2.53 GHz I can just OC to 3.0 GHz without voltage increase. Find an X2 that can achieve 3.8 GHz with reasonable voltage.
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October 10, 2008 3:12:12 PM

At work I had a choice between an HP laptop or desktop, I took the laptop for work at home, but If i did not go on road, a g31/e7200 setup would demolish my t7300 laptop with 2gig ram on a 800 bus with ddr2 667.
I dont play a single game on this laptop but i do watch a movie here and there...and its fine...so the g31 would be more than enough....

I just have one more comment regarding recent toms articles....how is a 1,500$ system a budget system...I dont have the money to buy that when i'm gaming once in a blue moon.

I built a system for about 400$ and comes close to some of these things....an e2160 chip at 2.6ghz, 2 gig ram, asus p35 board, and asus 8600gt, an 80g sata drive for the os and an older sata 200g for some tunes and pics....and i bought a cm 690 case with cm5500 extreme power ps....the only thing in their i wish i could change at the mobo(settings dont allow for good overclock) and the power supply is loud...but that system is close to what i can afford....spending 1500$ to me is not budget, not when your putting a quad core and other stuff, a budget system should be that, on a budget, shopping for deals....etc...oh and if ya wanna save power...shut the mofo down....if your woried on how much a small system will cost on electricity you should have bought the system....just like the idiots that buy a dodge ram v8 and have never put more than a few pieces of wood in it and cant afford the 150$ gas bill each week.....
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Anonymous
October 10, 2008 3:24:35 PM

GMA 3100 is NOT based on GMA 3000 - this is totally different. It is based on the older GMA 950 (pretty much 100% identical in fact).
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October 10, 2008 3:31:32 PM

I would like to see a amd comparison, such as the AMD Athlon 4850e 2.3GHz paired with a FoxConn A7GM-S. This is a $135 pairing as opposed to the Intel reviewed which is $175.
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October 10, 2008 3:35:27 PM

Warezme, i don't think you have a very good understanding of how some people use cmoputers. Not everyone uses their comps for gaming and not everyone can use a laptop to meet their needs. I personally run a X2 4450e on a 780g chipset to house my raid array. This setup runs quieter, cooler and draws less power than my previous P4 setup.

Just because you cannot see a use for this technology does not mean the rest of the world cannot. Some of us care about how much power we use.
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October 10, 2008 4:24:55 PM

HTPC
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October 10, 2008 4:43:16 PM

Why not just get a laptop??? You would also save power with its LCD screen versus a separate monitor.

Isn't this what many people requiring a non-gaming machine are doing these days??
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October 10, 2008 5:10:04 PM

smyter_mI would like to see a amd comparison, such as the AMD Athlon 4850e 2.3GHz paired with a FoxConn A7GM-S. This is a $135 pairing as opposed to the Intel reviewed which is $175.


are you blind?, check my post on page one
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October 10, 2008 7:23:14 PM


good article, joe average could get by with a machine like this and still have room to expand if needed later

and yes i agree that you could do this with an AMD 780G based system as well and get more features, maybe we can have a comparison between the two platforms in terms of performance and power usage in a follow up article?
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Anonymous
October 10, 2008 10:06:57 PM

I seem to recall that there was a a system in place with either hybrid crossfire or sli that would actually power down a discrete graphics card and use the onboard chipset when graphics power was not needed. Why not go with that solution, and still be able to game? Perhaps my memory is faulty, but wouldn't that be a better solution?
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October 10, 2008 10:50:49 PM

How does this compare to the 4850e and 780g Chipset, seem strange to not compare it to that at all.
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October 11, 2008 1:14:27 AM

I built a similar E7200/G31(Asus) for my girlfriend, and it is more powerful than I had anticipated. The graphics sure are weak though, but they do her fine for those 'Dash'-type games @ 1680x1050. However, Windows 3D screensavers make the GMA3100 gfx groan under the strain.

In practice, against my E8400@3.33GHz/P35/9600GT doing standard Windows fare, the slight difference between the two is just noticeable, but consider that you've probably sat there reading this for more seconds than the difference in our workday 'loading time wait' would add up to!
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October 11, 2008 2:06:13 AM

mummybotHow does this compare to the 4850e and 780g Chipset, seem strange to not compare it to that at all.



The E7200 will outperform the 4850e but it also cost twice as much. Also i think it has a better Load efficiency, while 4850e has a better idle efficiency. But I'm using a 4850e + 780g as a HTPC/server. 3TB is da shit. The gigabyte i got has HDMI, esata, 5 stata. And a preaty nice IGP. I did build a g31+e2140 to a friend but that was 1-2 years ago. While that system still was good.

Was pathetic is that toms was to afraid av doing a real test. Price/performance. Well that's maybe because Intel doesn't have anything to match Amd.

Intel G45 was epic failboat. So they have to use OLD crapy intel motherboard to even come close to the price of an amd system but then they sacrifice the rest.
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October 11, 2008 2:34:05 AM

NoboruI seem to recall that there was a a system in place with either hybrid crossfire or sli that would actually power down a discrete graphics card and use the onboard chipset when graphics power was not needed. Why not go with that solution, and still be able to game? Perhaps my memory is faulty, but wouldn't that be a better solution?

NVIDIA GeForce 8200 mGPU
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October 11, 2008 1:30:54 PM

genored

The E7200 will outperform the 4850e but it also cost twice as much. Also i think it has a better Load efficiency, while 4850e has a better idle efficiency. But I'm using a 4850e + 780g as a HTPC/server. 3TB is da shit. The gigabyte i got has HDMI, esata, 5 stata. And a preaty nice IGP. I did build a g31+e2140 to a friend but that was 1-2 years ago. While that system still was good.

Was pathetic is that toms was to afraid av doing a real test. Price/performance. Well that's maybe because Intel doesn't have anything to match Amd.

Intel doesnt have anything to match AMD? for $69 you can get a 4850e or an E2180- and the E2180 will decimate it at the SAME price level. G31 mobos are just as cheap as the 780G, certainly old tech, but still on fighting distance. and the secret of the 780G is the ATI chipset, AMD has produced nothing decent in over 3 years, and they still fired tons of ATI personnel during the buyout- maybe the company will die because of that mistake.

I have been advocating the use of 780G systems as multipurpose/HTPCs solutions since launch, but with the launch of the 4670 i simply can not do that any more: G31+E21xx+ATI 4670= supreme HTPC (780G has no image quality enahncement features for bluray playbak), very decent CPU for a very reasonable price, and you even get to game at 1280x1024.

The launch of the 4670 was a double edged move: it simply destroy any reason people could have for going AMD instead of Intel.
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October 11, 2008 1:43:07 PM

Opps, i forgot to add that now you can get a 45nm/65w TDP part for $85: the E5200. and the article SHOULD have used this part for the tests, since it replaces the E2200 and costs only a fraction more. and they hit 3.4+ Ghz on stock voltages on air!
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Anonymous
October 11, 2008 4:37:29 PM

31W makes me rethink of buying an atom processor based pc...
however, if Intel ever starts thinking of producing a 45nm north + southbridge and GPU for the atom,we'd be talking about sub 10W systems here!
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October 11, 2008 11:12:29 PM

NoboruI seem to recall that there was a a system in place with either hybrid crossfire or sli that would actually power down a discrete graphics card and use the onboard chipset when graphics power was not needed. Why not go with that solution, and still be able to game? Perhaps my memory is faulty, but wouldn't that be a better solution?


AMD tried to come out with the PUMA earlier this year but there wern't any takers. They were bragging about all the design wins with the energy efficient and powerful Griffin processor (same memory controller as the Phenom) paired with the 3100 and hybrid crossfire but none of the OEM's actually built any production models with the hybrid crossfire feature. Rumor was that the 4xxx series from ATI would replace the 780g type for the notebook model but that also seems to be rumors as well. I don't believe it's a case of Intel bribing Tom's but a case of AMD advertising and crowing about their great "design wins" but no OEM's actually buying the design. It was the same thing with the external discrete ATI card with separate power supply being able to turn off or on for 3D applications but there hasn't been anyone willing to produce production models. I don't know why none of the promises came true but it serves AMD right if only Intel is getting the reviews.
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October 12, 2008 5:05:04 AM

Plenty have already reviewed 4850e with 780G. I don't know what kind of PSU tweaktown used, but 180W idle doesn't seem right.
Linking couple reviews with power consumption:
http://www.amdzone.com/index.php/reviews/chipsets/9181-...
http://www.guru3d.com/article/amd-780g--athlon-x2-4850e...
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article807-page8.html

So about 4-50W idle and 100-110W full load. Pretty underwhelming for a "low power" system. I think E72/G31 for low powered office computer and e4850/780G for HTPC. Intel G45 powered solution is a better match against the AMD combo.
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Anonymous
October 12, 2008 6:10:38 AM

I'm surprised you didn't mention the possibility of using a notebook hard drive. They're plenty fast for most purposes, and use far less power at both idle and full load.
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October 12, 2008 3:43:41 PM

i've seen comments about using notebooks for low power but it won't handle terabytes of disk space if needed for media or backups, the versatility of a box that can playback 1080p, also being robust and cheap.

beyond those reasons, a notebook it is, for portability/size and efficiency. no wonder it sells more than desktops.
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October 12, 2008 9:41:24 PM

I need help in interpreting the "3.5” Hard Drive Charts" referenced on p.2 to http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/3-5-hard-drive-chart... /benchmarks-1,24.html. In particular, I'm interested in The Cost per Gigabyte calculation and the Price/Performance Index, which relates performance, capacity and cost. Please help with an explanation.
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Anonymous
October 13, 2008 9:11:35 AM

chiadog: According to this test:
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article859-page5.html
,which has a little bit different setup than the earlier silentpcreview test you were refering to, the numbers are 31/58-66, which is a tiny bit better than in this test. (in other words, no difference in practice). It's an older 690G chipset though, but the silentpcreview people didn't think it's obsolete yet and made a test of it in august this year.


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October 14, 2008 9:48:18 AM

If you criticise the reviews here or make any negaive comments they just delete your post.

Nice work !!

Perception is reality eh?


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October 15, 2008 11:18:59 AM

http://www.fudzilla.com/index.php?option=com_content&ta...

Here is a great alternative that uses much less power, and is much better as a Home Theatre system.

Intel is not theKing of the HTPC - AMD's E series dual core low power processors and the 790GX xhipset are the ideal system.

It would be most remiss if we did not make these facts plainly available ... so as not to mislead the public.
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October 15, 2008 5:49:36 PM

Should compare how much energy they use when idle over time. I have heard that Intel Motherboards tend to be able to conserver more energy at less active states.
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October 15, 2008 6:13:47 PM

ano3: Notice that is underclocked and undervolted. The full 2.5ghz wattage still sucks up between 90-100w at full load.
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November 12, 2008 4:59:01 PM

Anyone know where to buy the Foxconn G31MG-S motherboard?

I have worked through Foxconn's entire "where to buy list" for the US and failed to find a store that lists this motherboard.
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Anonymous
December 8, 2008 1:36:01 AM

The intel motherboard DG31PR with the G31 chipset has 10/100/1000 ethernet onboard. I found a gigabyte G31 motherboard with 10/100/1000 ethernet. The article said that you could only get 10/100 ethernet.
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March 8, 2009 1:27:11 PM

I also have G31, but Dual core E2180. I am using a 420 watt power supply with Geforce 9600GTX PCI-Express ichill series from inoo3d, and it is smooth with the games i am playing.
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March 22, 2009 12:13:06 PM

And the next nvidia ion 2 + dual core (65 tdp)? Will it be the next real power story?
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!