Page 1:Can Core Duo Dominate Low-Power Systems?
Page 2:Typical PC Energy Consumption Reviewed
Page 3:Processor Selection 101
Page 4:Efficient AMD Processors
Page 5:Why Dual Core Processors?
Page 6:The Heir Apparent: Intel Core Duo T2600
Page 7:... And AOpen I975Xa-YDG
Page 8:AOpen I975Xa-YDG, Continued
Page 9:The King Of Efficiency: The Intel Pentium M 780
Page 10:... And MSI 915GM Speedster
Page 11:MSI 915GM Speedster, Continued
Page 12:The Marathon Runner: AMD Turion 64 MT-40
Page 13:... And MSI K8NGM-V
Page 14:MSI K8NGM-V, Continued
Page 15:The Desktop King: Athlon 64 X2 3800+
Page 16:... And Biostar TForce 6100-939
Page 17:Biostar TForce 6100-939, Continued
Page 18:Test Setup
Page 19:Benchmark Results
Page 23:Energy Consumption Test Results
Page 24:Graphics Eats Energy
Page 25:PSU: OCZ Modstream 520-12U
Page 26:Conclusion: Core Duo Loses The Platform Game
... And MSI 915GM Speedster
If you shop for Socket 479 motherboard you will likely find several products, but some are more suitable than others for building a low-power PC. Intel's 915G chipset is the desktop version with integrated graphics, while the 915GM was designed for notebooks. For this reason, it is not surprising that while the 915GM is much more efficient, it is more expensive - and thus not widely used. In contrast to the desktop chipsets, the mobile version supports a maximum memory total of 2 GB.
MSI sent us its 915GM Speedster, which is based on the mobile version 915GM. The box includes a suitable Pentium M processor cooler and the usual utilities. Both chipset building blocks are equipped with heat sinks, which is enough to keep them within acceptable temperature boundaries.
The integrated Intel GMA900 graphics engine is not very impressive, because it is too slow to play any of the current 3D titles at a decent resolution. But the motherboard has a x16 PCI Express slot that can be used to install a discrete graphics card to replace the integrated graphics core. Doing this will make the system perform far better, but will also increase its energy requirements.
We used an ATI Radeon X800XL, which consumes at least 20 W of additional power; that figure must be added to the excellent consumption profile of 38 to 68 W. But the Pentium M solution remains the most efficient platform even when a discrete graphics solution is added. It would have been great to run Core Duo on this motherboard, but that requires the current specification update for Socket 479 as well as the 945G or 945GM chipset.
The Pentium M 780 is adequate for most office and multimedia application scenarios today, and even dominates the benchmarks for audio encoding and WinRAR file compression. The more you move into content creation or other types of professional applications, however, the sooner we recommend going for a dual core processor.
- Can Core Duo Dominate Low-Power Systems?
- Typical PC Energy Consumption Reviewed
- Processor Selection 101
- Efficient AMD Processors
- Why Dual Core Processors?
- The Heir Apparent: Intel Core Duo T2600
- ... And AOpen I975Xa-YDG
- AOpen I975Xa-YDG, Continued
- The King Of Efficiency: The Intel Pentium M 780
- ... And MSI 915GM Speedster
- MSI 915GM Speedster, Continued
- The Marathon Runner: AMD Turion 64 MT-40
- ... And MSI K8NGM-V
- MSI K8NGM-V, Continued
- The Desktop King: Athlon 64 X2 3800+
- ... And Biostar TForce 6100-939
- Biostar TForce 6100-939, Continued
- Test Setup
- Benchmark Results
- Energy Consumption Test Results
- Graphics Eats Energy
- PSU: OCZ Modstream 520-12U
- Conclusion: Core Duo Loses The Platform Game