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 Post subject: Help with low power consumption upgrade via cheap used parts
PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:20 pm 
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Hi, I have a P4 3.06 Northwood desktop that is getting a bit slow. I'd like to replace it with parts that I can score cheap off Ebay. It doesn't have to be cutting edge. I'm looking for something that would be lower power consumption and also quiet. I already have a quiet 80+ PSU so I'm covered on that end. The system would mainly be used for browsing/flash videos and some occasional Adobe Photoshop/Audition work. I looked into Intel Atom/Amd e-350 boards but I'm worried they'd be a bit too slow. In reading reviews it seemed like that they may have issues with higher resolution flash videos.

After doing some research I've came up with the possibility of using a

Intel E7200 processor $8 used,

referbished Asrock G31M-GS motherboard with a G31 chipset
http://www.asrock.com/mb/intel/g31m-gs/

GELID Solutions CC-Siberian-01 80mm Hydro Dynamic Bearing CPU Cooler $10, it claims a noise level of 10-22.5db.
http://www.gelidsolutions.com/products/ ... d=12&id=65

2gigs of used DDR desktop ram. $12ish

Would this be on the low powered/quiet side undervolted or is there another processor etc that I'd be better off going with? Maybe there are other processors to be had on the cheap side that would do better than a E7200 etc. Any advice/input is greatly appreciated. Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with low power consumption upgrade via cheap used p
PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 7:28 pm 
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Welcome to SPCR.

Here's Anandtech's Bench results for the P4 660 vs the e7200. Figure the 90nm P4 660 is 20% (or more) faster than your 3.06GHz 130nm part. So, the short answer is, yes, you'd get a 2x or perhaps more performance bump.

That said, there are some nice advantages to getting something a little more recent (like Sandy Bridge or newer). Faster performance, integrated graphics, higher graphics quality, Flash support for graphic acceleration, SSD support, DDR3...

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 Post subject: Re: Help with low power consumption upgrade via cheap used p
PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 7:54 pm 
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Thank for the reply. I'm most concerned with the noise/power consumption. I didn't think about if the Intel GMA3100 video had newer codec acceleration. I'll have to read up on on the sandy bridge stuff and see if I can score something cheap.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with low power consumption upgrade via cheap used p
PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 8:43 pm 
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nods. There was a mighty leap forward in CPU performance with Sandy Bridge. Ivy Bridge added more GPU horsepower and incremental CPU performance. Another benefit of newer chipsets is USB 3 and faster SATA. Do a google search for "anandtech" and "Sandy Bridge" or "ivy Bridge" to get decent overview articles.

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 Post subject: Re: Help with low power consumption upgrade via cheap used p
PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 5:35 am 
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Location: Ottawa
If you are sticking with the core 2 generation, get a MB with a G45 chipset and the GMA X4500HD. That is the only Intel desktop chipset for core 2 that has full video decode acceleration for h264.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with low power consumption upgrade via cheap used p
PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 8:48 am 
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If you are trying to find components that are now about 6 years old, paying for them doesn't seem like much of a bargain at all. It is sometimes possible to find whole systems of this age for free and it is a fun challenge:
viewtopic.php?f=30&t=66161

I simply can't recommend paying money for stuff of that age, as the others suggest newer hardware is more energy efficient still but if you are OK to settle for hardware of this age, at least try and get it for free! Unless you are desperate to get this quickly, you can spend a bit of time trying to find something.

Ask at work, ask your friends, post on Freecycle, pull over when you see a pile of junk at the side of the road...

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 Post subject: Re: Help with low power consumption upgrade via cheap used p
PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 10:26 am 
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You might even have a local place like this. It's where all my old crap goes. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Help with low power consumption upgrade via cheap used p
PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:04 am 
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Thanks guys. All great helpful points. Freecycle is pretty interesting. I had no idea stuff like it existed.

Lets say I go with something newish, what are among my cheapest, lowest wattage, quietest options? I'm most concerned with noise and power consumption. The only catch is I need a single PCI slot for a sound card that I use some of it's special features. Just about anything is going to be a performance leap over what I currently have. Is it better to look into AMD stuff?


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 Post subject: Re: Help with low power consumption upgrade via cheap used p
PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 1:12 pm 
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Location: Ottawa
defec wrote:
Is it better to look into AMD stuff?

There are of course exceptions, but in general once you are past the P4 generation AMD CPUs will use more power than Intel CPUs for the same performance.

Look at newer Celeron/Pentium machines to keep costs down. Celerons got a somewhat deserved bad reputation in the past, but they are much more capable in recent generations.

If you can swing a bit to get something new, an all in one board can give you a good upgrade. For example the GA-C1037UN is under $90 and has a 1.8 GHz dual core Ivy bridge Celeron built in. Has a PCI slot and would still be much faster than your P4. Only need to add RAM.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with low power consumption upgrade via cheap used p
PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 1:37 pm 
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I would probably go with something like Intel Pentium G3258 Haswell Dual-Core 3.2GHz LGA 1150 Desktop Processor BX80646G3258, specially since its the only dual core overclockable, not saying you need to, but in time if you do need the extra CPU power, you can do it, and it can be overclocked with selected H97/H87/H81 motherboards, so you are not investing more neither on the CPU nor motherboard, you just get the freedom down the road if you wish to overclock it and no penalty in price.

But if you want the cheapest CPU on haswell line, then look into Intel Celeron G1820 Haswell Dual-Core 2.7GHz LGA 1150 54W Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics BX80646G1820 and pair it with something like MSI H81M-P33 LGA 1150 Intel H81 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard for couple of cents less than $90.

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 Post subject: Re: Help with low power consumption upgrade via cheap used p
PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 2:15 pm 
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Great idea guys. Thank you very much. It's insane how many options that there are these days. Something like a Celeron J1800/1900/1037U looks like it would be great on power consumption and some of the boards are even fanless. The Haswell stuff also looks interesting. I have a feeling that I'm going to be doing a lot of google searching and reading tonight.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with low power consumption upgrade via cheap used p
PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 2:37 pm 
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If you would like to see how a low a haswell Pentium can go, check Intel Pentium G3220, Asrock H87M-ITX post 1968:, probably baytrail con go lower, but still that extremely low considering the power that G3220 can release if needed. But a lot is choising the right PSU and motherboard.

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 Post subject: Re: Help with low power consumption upgrade via cheap used p
PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 2:53 pm 
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defec wrote:
Something like a Celeron J1800/1900/1037U looks like it would be great on power consumption and some of the boards are even fanless.

Single threaded performance of the J1900 is on par with your P4. Of course, for multithreaded apps, it's 3x faster. 10W vs 80W :D

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 Post subject: Re: Help with low power consumption upgrade via cheap used p
PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 6:42 pm 
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CA_Steve wrote:
defec wrote:
Something like a Celeron J1800/1900/1037U looks like it would be great on power consumption and some of the boards are even fanless.

Single threaded performance of the J1900 is on par with your P4. Of course, for multithreaded apps, it's 3x faster. 10W vs 80W :D


It kinds of seems like a better Atom.


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 Post subject: Re: Help with low power consumption upgrade via cheap used p
PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 6:58 pm 
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It's because it is. Intel chose to use the Celeron brand for this year's chip aka Silvermont. But, Silvermont isn't your grandmother's Atom :D

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