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Atom Benchmarked: 4W Of Performance

Cooling And Temperatures

Cooling

The Atom board does not have a fan, rather being fitted with two passive cooling elements. The large cooling element is for the northbridge and is as tall as the memory modules, allowing the board to be installed in a very squat housing. The smaller element is for the Atom processor itself.

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The 4 watt Atom 230 CPU does not require a fan for cooling.

Even after an hour of operation at full load, the Atom 230 achieves a maximum temperature of 83 °C. According to the Intel specification, the Atom 230 processor is capable of handling a core temperature of up to 99 °C. However, should the unit reach the maximum temperature, due to bad housing ventilation for example, it is still able to protect itself using Thermal Monitor 2.

The ICH7 southbridge is capable of handling temperatures up to 108 °C and the system doesn’t even come close to achieving this. The 22 watt 945GC northbridge can, according to specification, handle a core temperature of 99 °C. The northbridge cooling element achieved a temperature of 77 °C, which means that the core became too hot, exceeding 99 °C.

After an hour of operation at full load, the board without fan showed no sign of instability. The use of a fan to cool the northbridge is, however, essential for it to have a long lifetime.

  • Where's Linux tests?.
    Reply
  • randomizer
    This saved me time researching for an assignment :)
    Reply
  • jaragon13
    Shouldn't it be on 9 - cooling and temperatures,be idle and load,instead of idle and idle? >.
    Reply
  • When you look at the power consumption on load and compare it to the slowness of the chip while performing on load, it becomes clear why it only uses 4 watts more...
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  • A CPU without a platform is useless.
    Analyzing the Atom platform quickly from the power/performance perspective.
    CPU name / idle W / load W/ Lame (seconds) / total Lame W used
    Atom 230 / 40.5 W / 44.2 W / 773 s / 9.49 W
    Celeron 220 / 44.9 W / 55.4 W / 375 s / 5.77 W
    E2140 / 58.5 W / 69.5 W / 271 s / 5.23 W

    Clearly the Atom platform is the most inefficient power/performance wise.
    At idle you might win some W, but as soon as you try to do something you spend more power and waste more time.
    There are other things you should consider, the frustration of having to wait for things that now we are used to do near instant and the inability to play HD video or use any significant graphics.

    The only thing positive for atom is it's price. It's cheap. And maybe with a new chipset it might even be power efficient. But for now it's just cheap.

    Reply
  • neiroatopelcc
    I wonder if it'd be able to play games if one were to equip it with a pci based 2400pro & 4gb of memory?
    Also, I wouldn't be surprised if someone invents a voltmod for those boards, so they can increase voltage for cpu, mch & ich enabling 2ghz+ speeds
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  • nachowarrior
    so in other words atom is pretty much a failure unless it's pumped into a tablet or umpc? and even then apparently isn't cost effective or readily available, nice...sounds like a great product launch.
    Reply
  • I ran a google search for ECS 945GCT-D mainboard, and could not find it.
    I don't get it, why do you publish tests with products that don't even exist on the vendor web site?

    Thank you, anyway
    Reply
  • Lans
    Raiden, while your numbers are true, I think a fairer comparison would be to use 773s for all processors (meaning the rest go to idle alot quicker). I suppose you can power your computer down afterwards or start up a web browser etc.

    Atom 230 (773s load / 0s idle) : 9.5W
    Celeron 220 (375s load / 398s idle): 10.7W
    E2140 (271s load / 502s idle): 13.4W
    Sempron LE-1100 (43.9W idle, 70.4W load, 301s load / 472s idle): 11.6W

    Sure this is biased against the Atom (not going idle at all) but with 4W delta between load and idle, I am too lazy to change the numbers already used.

    I find it comparing the Atom to a Sempron LE-1100 more and Celeron 220 interesting:

    "A Celeron at 1.20 GHz is 35% faster than an Atom at 1.60 GHz, but the Atom only consumes a fraction of the energy used by the Celeron. The AMD Sempron system, which uses almost the same energy in idle mode as the Atom system, is 43% faster."
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  • haley0918
    in anyway, despite of the low power and low performance, i still think it'll also be good as simple file server or home server besides as umpc. for experts, it'll be enough for some robotics and control application. just like the one used for Aiko in http://www.projectaiko.com
    Reply