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Do-It-Yourself Solar-Powered PC: Hardware

Comparing Energy Draw: MSI Vs. Gigabyte

The foundation for our solar-powered PC is the AMD 690 chipset. The Northbridge portion of this chipset uses 80 nm technology, and consumes less power because the memory interface is integrated into the CPU. That explains why this Northbridge includes fewer transistors and requires a smaller surface area.

The AMD 690G chipset uses 80 nm technology and occupies a surface area of 49 mm².

The SB600 Southbridge occupies a surface area of 36 mm²

The functionality that the Southbridge SB600 delivers is pretty meager when compared to competitive chips. We don't need RAID support, though, so it's perfectly adequate for our solar-powered PC. The SB600 also uses 80 nm technology, and consumes far less power than competing chips as well.

Athlon 64 X2 BE-2350 on the Gigabyte motherboard (sans cooler)

Even the three-phase voltage regulator that handles power for the CPU contributes to lower energy consumption.

A three-phase voltage regulator also keeps power consumption low