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Intel i3 versus Atom 330 ION versus MoDT Penryn G45

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September 29, 2009 3:56:03 AM

MoDT Penryn maybe extinct out of the starting block, speed related to the electric bill on idle for favor of Atom 330 ION. This is NOT a GAMER system debate but a real world application machine that needs to be 5 year investment protection.
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September 29, 2009 4:30:03 AM

What operating system? What computing tasks or programs?
Linux? Atom 330 probably OK
Windows? Atom 330 probably underpowered for anything other than a net-top internet surfing.
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September 29, 2009 4:45:54 AM

WR2 said:
What operating system? What computing tasks or programs?
Linux? Atom 330 probably OK
Windows? Atom 330 probably underpowered for anything other than a net-top internet surfing.



Operating system: Anything except MS Vista
Programs: Microsoft Office 2003, Internet Surfing - Flash videos, etc. For business apps and school labs.

Intel Atom 330 ION outperforms AMD X2 2.6GHz single core and outperforms video decoding on a Dual core 2.8. Overall Atom between these two specs. And half the cost upfront and electricity savings pays for the unit every 2.5 years.
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September 29, 2009 5:23:11 AM

rexki said:
Intel Atom 330 ION outperforms AMD X2 2.6GHz single core and outperforms video decoding on a Dual core 2.8. Overall Atom between these two specs. And half the cost upfront and electricity savings pays for the unit every 2.5 years.
Half the cost? How did you calculate that? What kind of energy savings are you using?
Athlon II X2 240 Regor 2.8GHz $60 and ECS A780GM-M3 AM2+/AM3 AMD 780G MB $60 ($42 a/r) total $120 ($102) vs ASUS AT3N7A-I Atom 330 1.6GHz ION $160

For the i3's E3300 2.4Ghz $53 with Intel BOXDG45FC $115 or ZOTAC GF9300-D-E LGA 775 NVIDIA GeForce 9300 HDMI Wi-Fi Mini ITX $130

Considering you can upgrade the CPUs except on the Atom/Ion combo I think I'd choose the less expensive Athlon II X2 240 / 780G MB combo as hedge against the 5yr requirement.


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September 29, 2009 6:37:51 AM

I'd lean heavily towards a non-Atom build using Win7. If you can wait, Clarkdale seems perfect for what you want - extremely low power, but decent capability. It won't be out until around January though.
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September 29, 2009 6:59:02 AM

Mini-ITX motherboard for Clarkdale CPUs
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September 29, 2009 8:12:50 AM

rexki said:
Intel Atom 330 ION outperforms AMD X2 2.6GHz single core and outperforms video decoding on a Dual core 2.8.

That would depend on the chipset and decoder being used with the other options, in particular the dual-core.
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September 29, 2009 1:55:45 PM

WR2 said:
Half the cost? How did you calculate that? What kind of energy savings are you using?
Athlon II X2 240 Regor 2.8GHz $60 and ECS A780GM-M3 AM2+/AM3 AMD 780G MB $60 ($42 a/r) total $120 ($102) vs ASUS AT3N7A-I Atom 330 1.6GHz ION $160

For the i3's E3300 2.4Ghz $53 with Intel BOXDG45FC $115 or ZOTAC GF9300-D-E LGA 775 NVIDIA GeForce 9300 HDMI Wi-Fi Mini ITX $130

Considering you can upgrade the CPUs except on the Atom/Ion combo I think I'd choose the less expensive Athlon II X2 240 / 780G MB combo as hedge against the 5yr requirement.


Have already experienced 2 year strategy obsolescence w/ AMD AM2 Asus M2A boards. The boards control the obsolescence strategy more than the CPU.

Half the cost to the Intel Penryn MoDT - P8600 2.4GHz (204), Jetway NF93R (220), the rest of the components are no delta in price. Penryn MoDT is $424.

Intel 330 Atom on ION chipset - Zotac ION330-A, $189 percentage to Penryn MoDT is 189/424 = 46% - less than half. This system burns 30 peak watts average and idle down to 9 watts. Total lab electricty (.1525/kWh) would be $183 peak and $802 idle - total annual electricity of $985.

i3/i5/i7 are huge electricity burners average 230 watts that cost a school with 100 units in the lab (1,403 for 8 hrs regular usage, and
$12,923 for idle -145 watts, total electric burn $14,326)

Annual Upfront cost difference: 100 units times (429-183) = 24,600
Annual electricity difference = (14,326 - 985) = 13,941
5 year electricity savings = 69,705

Total cost of ownership savings 5 years comparative = 94,305
Number of Entire i3,i5,i7 units that could be purchased ($800)= 117 more than the labs can even accommodate!!
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September 30, 2009 12:48:24 PM

"The boards control the obsolescence strategy more than the CPU". This is doubly true when the CPU is glued to the motherboard.
"Half the cost to the Intel Penryn MoDT". Stop with the Penryn MoDT. It's not a good value. Use E3300 on DG45FC for your calculations.

I still have a problem with your electricity maths. You should have used 24watts for Atom/Ion's idle power. But why didn't you use Sleep power instead? Thats 3watts. How are you figuring the cost? We know your using .1525/kWh, but not the rest of your formula.
Also use the correct power values for the E3300 on DG45FC.

"This system burns 30 peak watts average and idle down to 9 watts. Total lab electricty (.1525/kWh) would be $183 peak and $802 idle - total annual electricity of $985"
330 Atom on ION chipset 28-35watts peak 24watts idle 3watts sleep mode.
Source: LegitReviews: NVIDIA Ion mini-ITX System Build Guide
2nd Source: AnandTech: Zotac's Ion mini-ITX Board

"3/i5/i7 are huge electricity burners average 230 watts that cost a school with 100 units in the lab (1,403 for 8 hrs regular usage, and $12,923 for idle -145 watts, total electric burn $14,326)"
i3 E3300 on DG45FC 65~80watts peak 42-45watts idle 7watts sleep mode
Source: BitTech: Intel DG45FC mini-ITX motherboard
2nd source: SilentPCReview: Intel DG45FC
Note that testing was done with less efficient CPUs (E5200 / E6400). E3300 consumption will be less.

Without doing any fancy math it looks to me like:
E3300 on DG45FC $168 (w/o PSU) Atom 330 on Zotac $189 (includes PSU)
E3300 on DG45FC will cost roughly $1000 a year in higher electricity costs.
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September 30, 2009 6:12:40 PM

E3300 on DG41MJ $130 w/o PSU
Atom 330 on Zotac Ion $170 w/o PSU)

E3300 on DG41MJ will cost roughly $1000 a year in higher electricity costs. But at $40 per unit less than Atom/Ion it looks like savings over 5 years will be just $1000. That's about $2 per system per year.

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October 7, 2009 2:43:02 PM

WR2 said:
E3300 on DG41MJ $130 w/o PSU
Atom 330 on Zotac Ion $170 w/o PSU)

E3300 on DG41MJ will cost roughly $1000 a year in higher electricity costs. But at $40 per unit less than Atom/Ion it looks like savings over 5 years will be just $1000. That's about $2 per system per year.



The G41 Chipset on the DG41MJ board will not handle 1080P playback as the ION chipset does and thus would not qualify for a valid machine to hold for 5 years since 1080p will be middle of the road standard requirement in 3 years.

The E3300 at Dual Core 45nm and 65W TDP is an outstanding performer. If you matched that with a board that could handle 1080p and not have the processor pick up the video decoding load, then you would have a true contender to the Atom/ION combo.

As far as price, the Zotac ION board at $189 included the external PSU laptop style brick. To go with external power on the DG41MJ a power conversion board and external brick would have to be purchased to gain the same very desirable external power supply solution. This would bring the cost up another 75-100 to make equivalent. Thus E3300/DG41MJ at 130 base plus 75 = 205 and no 1080p.

Atom/ION w/ external psu and can do 1080p = $189, savings at time zero are $16 per unit and huge electrical savings over the life.

External power supplies are very desirable in that troubleshooting becomes an easy realm of the non technical (not in my job description) on-site personnel. Eliminating down time to a few hours from 4 days to get another power supply diagnosed and then procured and then another visit to install. We have a 10 percent power supply failure ratio and thus at 100 dollars per incident in service labor alone to diagnose, procure and repair. 100 units time .1 = 10 times 100 is another 1,000 dollar savings. Downtime on 10 units at 4 days is (10 * 8 hours per day use * 4 days = 320 hours) if it cost 10 dollars per hour of lost productivity that equates to $3,200. External power bricks could reduce down time and money to (4 hours * 10 units * 10 dollars = $400) Savings on power brick are thus 2,800 downtime savings plus $1,000 billable service hour reduction, total estimated savings estimated at 3,800 or $38 per unit.
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October 9, 2009 10:41:25 PM

rexki said:
The G41 Chipset on the DG41MJ board will not handle 1080P playback as the ION chipset does
I'm not at all impressed with your research rexki.
The DG41MJ will absolutely handle 1080P playback.
At H.264 1080P it will have higher CPU utilization but will have lower CPU utilization for WMV-HD 1080P than the ION chipset. Thats a LOT different than your claim it can't handle 1080P.
When you look at the Atom/ION's performance in educational and business multi-tasking it lags far behind the E3200.
I have to believe your staff would be more concerned about that performance than watching pretty videos.

If your claim about the advantage of external power supplies were true don't you think you'd see wide scale adoption by businesses, industries and educational institutions that that use thousands, even tens of thousands of PCs?

rexki said:
Eliminating down time to a few hours from 4 days to get another power supply diagnosed and then procured and then another visit to install.
Where are you? Australian outback? Fire those people and hire someone who can do the job in the 1 visit. My contract tech crew seems to be a lot better than yours. And you'd think with all the problems you seem to be having someone would have thought to have a few spare parts and expendable items on hand. You may also have something else going on you should look into with your power and electrical environment. We have less than a 2% PSU failure rate in our PCs.

Why would it take four days to procure a new PSU and not also take 4 days to procure a new power brick?
But of course that punches a hole in your theory of 'lost productivity' and 'downtime savings' and 'billable service hour reduction' theory.
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October 9, 2009 10:46:59 PM

rexki said:
huge electrical savings over the life
We already de-bunked that idea, right?
That savings has a cost too.... in lost productivity since it takes longer to finish projects on the slower Atom/Ion platform.
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October 9, 2009 11:40:15 PM

THG's review of the Atom/Ion as a desktop/nettop system: Ion As A Desktop PC (Nettop)
Quote:
Here’s the short of it. When it comes to running multiple apps at the same time, compressing/decompressing large archives, and yes, even transcoding, CPUs are still very much deciding factors in resulting performance. I’d be fine browsing recipes online in the kitchen, answering email on a hallway terminal, or word processing from bed. But more intensive applications will certainly call for a quicker CPU. After all, Atom was conceptualized as an engine for mobile Internet devices—if it were too fast, it’d cannibalize Intel’s desktop-oriented offerings. Thus, even in Windows 7, you’ll want to scale back your expectations of a pint-sized mini-ITX platform with an Atom processor—even if it does show up backed by Nvidia’s impressive IGP chipset.
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October 10, 2009 7:49:38 AM

rexki said:
Have already experienced 2 year strategy obsolescence w/ AMD AM2 Asus M2A boards. The boards control the obsolescence strategy more than the CPU.

Half the cost to the Intel Penryn MoDT - P8600 2.4GHz (204), Jetway NF93R (220), the rest of the components are no delta in price. Penryn MoDT is $424.

Intel 330 Atom on ION chipset - Zotac ION330-A, $189 percentage to Penryn MoDT is 189/424 = 46% - less than half. This system burns 30 peak watts average and idle down to 9 watts. Total lab electricty (.1525/kWh) would be $183 peak and $802 idle - total annual electricity of $985.

i3/i5/i7 are huge electricity burners average 230 watts that cost a school with 100 units in the lab (1,403 for 8 hrs regular usage, and
$12,923 for idle -145 watts, total electric burn $14,326)

Annual Upfront cost difference: 100 units times (429-183) = 24,600
Annual electricity difference = (14,326 - 985) = 13,941
5 year electricity savings = 69,705

Total cost of ownership savings 5 years comparative = 94,305
Number of Entire i3,i5,i7 units that could be purchased ($800)= 117 more than the labs can even accommodate!!



Wait for the new Atom 510 Dual Core processor and new Chipset. Should be a big leap in Nettop performance both processor and video.
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October 10, 2009 11:03:35 PM

WR2 said:
I'm not at all impressed with your research rexki.
The DG41MJ will absolutely handle 1080P playback.
At H.264 1080P it will have higher CPU utilization but will have lower CPU utilization for WMV-HD 1080P than the ION chipset. Thats a LOT different than your claim it can't handle 1080P.

I read several websites saying it will not do 1080p without either system performance issues or CPU being hammered. I guess this is a battle of symantecs since your research is far superior and your paid tech crew is far superior, since they either carry a full line of equipment in their painted vans. Most customers do not stock parts onsite, they are in the business of doing something else, like education. No I am not in Australia but the Chicago Area.

You are also right about all the power and what ever you say must be the power since you have debunked it without your math to prove it.

MoDT is a new concept, same answer goes for all things in life that are new and different, they take time.

I am done - You WIN! - You have left an impression rather than impress.


When you look at the Atom/ION's performance in educational and business multi-tasking it lags far behind the E3200.
I have to believe your staff would be more concerned about that performance than watching pretty videos.

If your claim about the advantage of external power supplies were true don't you think you'd see wide scale adoption by businesses, industries and educational institutions that that use thousands, even tens of thousands of PCs?

Where are you? Australian outback? Fire those people and hire someone who can do the job in the 1 visit. My contract tech crew seems to be a lot better than yours. And you'd think with all the problems you seem to be having someone would have thought to have a few spare parts and expendable items on hand. You may also have something else going on you should look into with your power and electrical environment. We have less than a 2% PSU failure rate in our PCs.

Why would it take four days to procure a new PSU and not also take 4 days to procure a new power brick?
But of course that punches a hole in your theory of 'lost productivity' and 'downtime savings' and 'billable service hour reduction' theory.

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October 21, 2009 2:36:55 PM

rexki said:
MoDT is a new concept, same answer goes for all things in life that are new and different, they take time.
MoDT may be a new term but the concept is anything but new.

After reading your posts I was leery of what I'd find out about our local schools. It's not a large district, just 10,000 students. Overall the student/computer ratio is under 5:1 and in middle schools it runs under 3:1

So it was a pleasant surprise and refreshing experience talking to the IT guy of our local unified school district. Very professional and with a very business like attitude. There is also an amazing amount of information available over the internet including the district's 2006-2010 Education Technology Master Plan. I did find out some interesting points.

(1) For 15 hours a day (and 24hrs a day on weekends and holidays) the school instructional computers draw ZERO power. Not even the usual 10 watts of parasitic power PCs draw in S3 sleep mode (2 watts for laptops). Computers in school class rooms are unplugged from the wall socket and in the computer labs the master circuit all computers are powered from in each lab is shut down.

(2) Since 2006 the district has been replacing desktop PCs with laptops and the conversion is about 80% complete. In addition to the traditional computer labs each school has a least 1 (most have 2 or more) mobile computer lab, a cart with wireless LAN laptops, that can be used in any classroom. Most classrooms have 5 or 6 wireless networked computers and projection systems. There is a lot of webcast and teleconferencing activity in the classrooms.

(3) The instructional tasks and skills the students are expected to handle include moderate to heavy multi-tasking as early as the middle school years. The district IT guy says the Atom systems are woefully underpowered for their requirements and do not meet the minimum hardware profile. The most recently approved contracts were for
C2D T6500/2.1 GHz/3GB RAM/250GB HD/DVDRW+/GMA 4500HD/WLAN:802.11 a/b/g/n/Vista Basic/15.4" 1280 x 800 laptops with extended warranty.

(4) There is a fairly robust support plan for computer repair and maintenance. There is no loss of productivity since all schools have spare capacity to cover essential services during PC or laptop down time. All instructional computers are bought with 3yr warranty and get NBD service. Beyond the warranty period the local districts use cooperative county VoTech programs to handle the bulk of the repair work by students in A+ Cert training.

(5) 1080P support is not an issue. 720P is the highest supported standard as it's commonly used for Internet distribution of high-definition video.
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