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Low Power pc? Answered

Right for some time now I have been thinking of building a computer that is low power 20w max needs to have some processing power preferable duel core i have been looking at 'intel D510MO' link to spec > http://www.ebuyer.com/product/191127

What i would like is for someone to advise me on what to buy to keep the power low (20w or less) and the performance high at a fairly low price


You can get a CPU/Motherboard Combo that is powered through an external adapter.


But 20w is so low that you wouldn't get much speed.

You would also need a SSD.


7 years ago

Performance and electrical power are diametrically Opposed.
Maybe you can run it off a coal fired engine :-)

Seriously the big gulp in a computer besides twin hairy peaks boss types
who want soft output tomorrow am, is the energy needed to drive logic levels
from CPU to RAM two inches away and back.
That explains research on Hyper Cube Computers, three or less volts and
smaller real estate PCBs.

Speed on the other head sucks power and thinking about does not count
as electrical power just your own ATP :-)


"Performance and power are diametically opposed"

Tell that to ARM.


All of the things you list are mutually exclusive - Performance costs and uses power. low power means reduced performance


7 years ago

I don't think that even the little netbooks have that low a power requirement but they would be the closest things to it that you would ever find. SSD drives, no optical drives, lower power CPU with GPU integrated, about every energy savings you could imagine. Face it, a computer is not a phone and so it cannot run on the power a phone does.

Well... a cell phone, especially a smart phone, *is* a small computer. But it's one designed from scratch for minimum power use, and sacrifices computing performance to do so.

In that power range you're talking about something more like a palmtop (iphone, Palm, android) than like a netbook. It's frankly astounding that those are as capable as they are. You aren't going to replicate that kind of efficiency in a homebrew box, I suspect.

Performance costs power. You're going to have to trade those off.

A typical laptop running at full speed draws up to 288 watts (which is why they can get so hot; most of that energy eventually winds up as heat). Cutting down to 1/15th of that power demand is going to require cutting out a lot of hardware, using much slower (and hence less energy-hungry) hardware, or both.

There are Good Reasons that the palmtop machines are generally built around much slower processors. And that's essentially the route I think you'll have to go: Settle for "some" processing power, and use another machine when you want high performance. Perhaps set up your low-power machine as a remote console for the high-power machine, so the workhorse can burn as much electricity as it needs and the low-power box just needs to handle user input and keep the screen updated. (That presumes you have network connectivity between the two, of course.)

Sorry, but that's the reality. Computing takes energy; to save energy needed per second, compute less per second. Or change computing architectures, if you can find one that's more efficient -- one of the reasons RISC architectures were attractive -- but that requires leaving the Wintel world. Or invent a new way to build chips, which REALLY requires throwing money at the problem.