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Our Testing System: Minimum Power Draw - 37 Watts!

The Next Generation of Cool: AOpen's 37 Watt Pentium M Desktop PC
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We paired the i915GMm-HFS with a Pentium M 770, 1 GB of DDR2-533 memory and an NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT.

When we put our testing system together, we went for the high end and configured it as we would have done with a comparable Pentium 4 system. That meant using the top-of-the-line Pentium M 770 (2.13 GHz), two sticks of 512MB DDR2-533, a DVD drive and a 160 GB Hitachi hard drive.

For the graphics subsystem, we opted for a GeForce 6800 GT, since the card's price has come down enough to offer decent value for money. We also ran all tests with Intel's integrated Graphics Media Accelerator 900 - this is the option if we want to realize a truly low-power system. For the system's power supply, we selected Coolermaster's RS-550-ACLY. Thanks to its high energy efficiency rating of 80%, it is one of the most efficient PSUs currently on the market.

We were greeted by the first surprise right after we powered up the system. The entire setup, built around a 2.13 GHz processor that is far from a slouch and using an optical drive and a hard disk, barely drew 37 watts! Compared to the 120 watts of a conventional desktop PC, this result is nothing short of sensational!

When we added in the GeForce 6800 GT and deactivated the integrated graphics unit, idle power consumption jumped by about 50 watts.

After booting to the Windows XP desktop, our system only consumed 37 watts when using the integrated graphics unit.

The power draw remained very reasonable even under heavy load. This makes this setup ideal for a silent PC.
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