In the rush to catch the PC upgrade tsunami that may or may not materialize after the Windows 7 earthquake this Thursday, chip seller Advanced Micro Devices has had its wafer baker, GlobalFoundries, cook up new Athlon II processors for mainstream desktop PCs. The Athlon II chips come in dual-, tri-, and quad-core variants and …
Really. it is.
I ordered a Sempron 140 yesterday for use in a WHS server (chiefly for its low power consumption) and it's dropped a couple of quid today. Suddenly there are loads of 45w parts going cheap. On the other hand, looks like I picked up the last of the bargain-priced motherboards in the shop...
Not so sure
I have purchased a small form-factor PC - but it wasn't much to do with the form-factor. Because small form-factor PC's use much lower-powered parts, it was a fan-less PC and is almost entirely silent. In fact, switching it on for the first time was disconcerting. Other than a light coming on, nothing happened for a few seconds. The only noise it ever makes is when the hard disk spins up.
But this is why I bought it and I know plenty of people for whom squeezing the last GHz of performance from their PC has become secondary to making it as quiet as possible.
45W is still way too much
45W is still way too much. Add to that 20-30W worth of wimpy IGP video and other chippery, 5W of hard drive and it is enough to cook an average mini-ITX case. You need at most 40W TDP from the whole system, not just the CPU.
This will just about do to deliver a reasonably silent mATX, but smaller - forget it. It is simply not fit for purpose for small form factor PCs. It needs to go way less than that.
The only noise it ever makes is when the hard disk spins up
And soon, with SSD, no noise at all...
Hmm, looks like it's time to finally plump for an upgrade then. I like the idea of the 45W quad core chip even if the speed is a bit limited.
@ Arnold, can't you return the Sempron, I mean as long as you don't open it. Then get an Athlon II instead (assuming the board is AM2+ or AM3).
"The vast majority of desktop PCs sold in 2006 (around 65 per cent) were for minitowers, with another 10 per cent coming from tower PCs. A little less than 20 per cent of the PCs sold were for so-called small form factor PCs. (This is IDC data, by the way, which you can see here in this presentation put together by AMD.) This data shows that small form factor PCs are growing at the expense of minitowers, and will continue to do so between now and 2013."
I personally don't think Windows 7 rush will be as great as Microsoft would love us to believe also I don't understand why anyone wanting power efficiency would choose x86 compatible chips - surely ARM or MIPS are the best for this.
I knew they were coming because..
I am speccing a low heat/low noise SFF pc and whilst checking motherboard specs and CPU compatibiIity lists last week I noticed that the new parts were listed. So I have been holding off on making a purchase :-)
A quad-core 45W job will be just ideal in the mini-ITX system I am gonna build.
"also I don't understand why anyone wanting power efficiency would choose x86 compatible chips - surely ARM or MIPS are the best for this."
People in the Windows camp have no other choice... For the ARM or MIPS architectures, Linux is really the only game in town.
Actually the 45watt Athlon X3 is the dearer part.
quote: "The Athlon II X3 400e family of chips has three processor cores and comes in 45 watt and 95 watt thermal envelopes; the hotter chips offer more bang and cost more money. The X3 chips are used in all-in-one and small footprint desktops as well as in some mainstream PCs."