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Wondering what a low power system (web browsing mostly) would look like

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Not literally look like, but what I'd be looking at for price and how much energy I can save vs my current system (one in my sig, somehow only uses 80w idle(source:Kill A Watt)).

I've gotten out of playing games pretty much now. Grown up I guess. I would probably keep this one around just for general gaming and anything that needs more processing power, but I'm thinking about getting a super low power one that would mostly be for web browsing (linux?) and steam chatting. Also watching a lot of movies and TV shows and listening to music. So not that powerful or expensive.

If I do make it, I'd like it to be:
• As low power consumption as possible
• Very quiet or silent
• Small form (at least mATX, or smaller)
• Like I said, browsing, chatting, and watching videos at 1080p (the video itself is probably only 720p max, but I'd use a 1080p monitor.)
• No brand preference.

So can someone help me imagine what this would be like? I can't imagine I'd need anything more powerful than an i3 or something.
    
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post #2 of 9
An i3 would be WAY overkill! Anything about 200 MHz
would work.

That's just your basic $25 garage sale
computer hooked up to a fast Internet connection.
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
No, try reading it again. I want to BUILD a LOW POWER system, with a SMALL form factor, and SILENT, not buy some guy's 1994 dell.
    
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post #4 of 9
I just built an i3-3225 based system for my mother. I dont have a Kilowatt meter but HW-monitor (dont know how accurate this is) only reported a system draw of around 45 watts while playing Supreme Commander Forged Alliance and around 10 watts at idle for the cpu and graphics (but again i can't confirm its accuracy). and that was on high to very high video settings. Agian I didnt test with a meter and dont trust software for these measurements but the system is silent, runs extremely cool, and is extremely fast.

For what you are looking to do this i3 would be way more than enough imho, and would give you the option to play most games at medium to low settings if you wanted, and be way more than enough for 1080p video playback and overkill by a ton for any lower resolution.
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post #5 of 9
Let me see what I can put together smile.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atom D525 
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

Motherboard: Intel D525MW Mini ITX Atom Atom D525 Motherboard ($86.53 @ NCIX US)
Memory: Samsung 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($25.49 @ B&H)
Storage: Plextor M5S Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.99 @ CompUSA)
Case: Lian-Li PC-Q09FB Mini ITX Desktop Case w/150W Power Supply ($136.24 @ Mwave)
Total: $338.25
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by i3 2120T 
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-2120T 2.6GHz Dual-Core Processor ($121.49 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Intel BOXDQ77KB Mini ITX LGA1155 Motherboard ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Samsung 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($25.49 @ B&H)
Storage: Plextor M5S Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.99 @ CompUSA)
Case: Lian-Li PC-Q09FB Mini ITX Desktop Case w/150W Power Supply ($136.24 @ Mwave)
Total: $513.20
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
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post #6 of 9
$95 Cpu/mobo/vga: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157228
$70 Case w/PSU: http://www.mini-box.com/M350-enclosure-with-picoPSU-80-and-60W-adapter
$20 RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231394
$45 32GB SSD: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00826WCL4/?tag=pcpapi-20
OR
$40 250GB HDD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152366
$225-$230 Total

That is probably one of the smallest form factors you will get too. I have the case, psu and mobo, it is plenty thumb.gif
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post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnetonka16 View Post

No, try reading it again. I want to BUILD a LOW POWER system, with a SMALL form factor, and SILENT, not buy some guy's 1994 dell.

No to be snippy, but you want to spend $500 building a 1994 Dell.

Now, if it's the "building" and getting exactl what you want that you're
willing to pay for, I can understand that!
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Samsung 840 PRO Asus DRW-1608P (x2) Custom Water Cooling Win7 (Ult), Win 8.1 & Win Server 2012 R2 
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2 X Samsung 915N Ducky Shine III, Blue Cherry/Blue LEDs PCP&C 1kw Lian Li PC-71 (W/Window) 
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post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by billbartuska View Post

No to be snippy, but you want to spend $500 building a 1994 Dell.
Now, if it's the "building" and getting exactl what you want that you're
willing to pay for, I can understand that!
No, a dell from 1994 isn't low power, silent, or small.
    
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WD Velociraptor 1TB Samsung 840 Pro 128GB (AD Inventor on it) Samsung DVD/CD burner/reader, pretty basic Custom WC 
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Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Dell UltraSharp U3011 30" 2560*1600 Razer BlackWidow mech. keyboard Antec EA650 platinum series 
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post #9 of 9
I have a tiny "bookshelf" system that has an Intel Atom 330 and one of those neat NVidia ION GPUs. It was built by Foxconn (nt330i is the part number, I believe, though I don't think they sell them anymore) and I added a 120GB OCZ Vertex 2 SSD (this was back when those were new, but old enough that it had gone on sale) and put a 4GB DDR2-800MHz SO-DIMM in it. Before the SSD it was very hard to use. Firefox would take 20 seconds or more to start, and I was pulling my hair out. If you put in that 4GB of memory and an SSD, though, it is almost fast enough to pass itself off as an old desktop computer. I can't imagine that it pulls much over 20W. It's also small enough that you can mount it to the back of a monitor that has a VESA 75/100 mount.

The ION GPU takes care of 1080p video like a champ. I installed Ubuntu Linux on it to get rid of as much memory usage and bloat as possible. In order to take advantage of the ION GPU to play back HD video, you need to install NVidia's Linux binary driver and the nvidia-vdpau packages. The vdpau packages include codecs that are built to take advantage of the GPU. Not all codecs are supported by vdpau, though, so you may have to transcode some of your video to work... I seem to remember HD Flash content being choppy, but H.264 runs like a champ.

Foxconn and Lenovo both build these tiny barebones bookshelf systems, and some fully-built systems. I have seen newer versions of these types of systems that use the Atom 2700 (64bit, 2C/4T @ 2.13GHz) and a Radeon 6320 (or something like that). There are also systems that have an NVidia GT 520M and an LGA 1155 socket that will accept one of the 35W i3/i5 CPUs. Bookshelf systems have come a long way since I bought mine, and I'm kinda tempted to get a new one, even though the one I have is still good enough to do everything I use it for. I just have it sitting beside my plasma HDTV in the living room for when I need to pull up anything from my home network.
Edited by N0BOX - 9/29/12 at 11:07am
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