Power, Heat And Efficiency
Power numbers are surprisingly consistent between different builds at stock settings, but CPU overclocking puts a big mound on the loaded power numbers of the work machines.
Because the work machine topped so many workstation applications, it came out ahead in the efficiency scale. Because there weren’t any old or cheap machines to use as a baseline, I used the average of all systems instead.
That's why I retained the same order throughout the article. This chart format works best with 5 or fewer configurations, 6 was a stretch and 8 is too much for some readers. We'll most likely go back to fewer configurations next time.
I'm not sure these systems show anything new or unexpected, although there may still be people who don't realize just how effective mini-ITX can be. The silicon lottery played its part, and thermal problems raised their ugly head as well.
Not to defend "we've always done it this way," for its own sake, but I'm sure I'm not the only one a little exasperated by some of Julio's choices and methods. With few exceptions, I could see why any of the three previous builders did certain things (Don's cheap case selection(s) being one of those exceptions), but I hardly know where to begin with Julio. It's not even that he's blatantly "wrong" about things, but his builds felt awkward; maybe like music where A=432Hz is notably different from music where A is tuned to 440Hz.
Of these builds, I prefer the mITX boxes. My own games and single monitor need nothing more than a GTX970, so that makes Thomas' little box the one I'd prefer to win.
I kind of agree, but that's because mini-itx cases are kinda weird as the are likely one of two extremes. They're either short and long, like the coolermaster elite 1## / haf stacker series, or tall and "fat" like the rosewill neutron. (HTPC cases are a different class)
I never got a chance to hear the gaming machines running.