Please help me go green :)

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Please help me go green :)

Postby Benjagan91 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:25 am


I'm looking to build a low power dual core system. I'd like to base my system on an AMD K10 dual core without disabled cores or L3. 2 x 512kb cache ideally for power savings. I'm looking to underclock it to 1ghz and undervolt it as low as possible for this speed. I'm thinking k10stat.exe can do this?

In regards to motherboards, I'm looking for MATX with onboard graphics sufficient of running 1080P hardware decode of video whilst keeping the chipset power draw a minimum.

Some Asus boards come with the EPU etc. with the nice gimick of showing current CPU power draw in watts. Not sure if it works during underclock and undervolt?

Drives will likely be 2.5 inch 5400rpm or 4XXXrpm drives as I have a fair quantity of data to store, but access speeds aren't important.

I'm currently of thinking of using a second hand Shuttle XPC and ripping out the board and PSU to put in my own mini-itx amd board and picopsu as amd seems to have the better underclock/volt options, particularly with k10stat. the picopsu will run via adapter straight to a deep cycle 100AH 12V battery.

I'll probably have a single low clock memory stick to save power. SO-DIMM would be better than DIMM but I doubt I'll find that with Asus. I'll forego an optical drive after windows install.

As for net connectivity, I hear ethernet is better than wireless for standby/sleep torrenting by telling windows not to put the network adapter to sleep while it's in standby/sleep - thus saving power during AFK torrenting.

Thanks for any ideas and support in advance! :)

Ben :scout:
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Re: Please help me go green :)

Postby Hammer_Time » Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:46 pm

Hi Ben,

Based on your description, the need for a low-cost energy-efficient dual core platform, I believe the best choice for you here is an AMD FM2 "Trinity" platform.

Benjagan91 wrote:Hi,

I'm looking to build a low power dual core system. I'd like to base my system on an AMD K10 dual core without disabled cores or L3. 2 x 512kb cache ideally for power savings.

Do you already own this type of cpu that you mentioned? ( the "AMD K10 dual core" ) ?? If not then I recommend you go with the much more power-efficient and affordable AMD Trinity FM2 cpu ( see below ) that is capable of HD-decoding and light 3D gaming even...which K10 is not of course ( no decent integrated gpu like Trinity has ).

The first Llano platform ( FM1 ) has been replaced with new incompatible ( different socket ) FM2 socket which of course is more upgradeable in the future. Read about the differences here if you like: ... 5800k.html


Back in the days we were not very optimistic about AMD’s attempt to push their first hybrid Llano processors into the desktop segment. Of course, they were unique and interesting in their own way, but mostly in theoretical perspective. In reality, it was fairly difficult to picture what type of desktop systems they could dominate.

However, Trinity is a completely different story. Their graphics performance is not just high according to the contemporary integrated solutions’ standards: they allow running 3D games in FullHD resolution! And it is a true qualitative leap forward making Trinity a worthy option for an entry-level gaming system. The x86 performance of Trinity’s computational cores is also quite decent, as we have just seen. The top members of this new family are almost as fast as Intel Core i3 CPUs. In other words, they will offer sufficient speed for contemporary general purpose systems.

Summing up these two aspects we see that Socket FM2 platform and Trinity processors have a good chance of taking over a good share of the home systems.
Of course, hardcore enthusiasts and dedicated gaming fans will hardly fall in love with this product, but the average mainstream users who enjoy occasional gaming, surf the Web, work with some multimedia content and maybe some relatively simple specific applications may find Trinity an excellent product for their needs. In this case, Socket FM2 platform will not only save you some money, but will allow building a compact, quiet and energy-efficient system (including SFF or HTPC). However, to make this possible AMD shouldn’t limit the supplies of their processors with 65 W TDP, as they did with Llano for some reason, and the mainboard makers should come up with a variety of miniature mainboards with an attractive price tag.

Certainly powerful enough to do HD video processing smoothly!!

I would recommend something like this: ... 6813130661

MSI FM2-A55M-E33 FM2 AMD A55 (Hudson D2) HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
All Solid CAP, OC Genie II, UEFI, HDMI V.1.4


Customer reviews are generally very positive for this board:

Pros: FM2 socket* see below
pairs great for an htpc or ultra cheap gaming pc,

PCI 2.0

Super Cheap

Still has PCI x16, PCI x4 or 6, idk and PCI

Small, almost ITX if you cut off anything below the PCI x16 slot

Cons: Lack of USB 3.0*
4 USB 2.0*
chipset is way past overdue

Other Thoughts: If you can stretch it, go with the A75 Chipset version, You get wayyy more features and Better things,
As for my *'s...
The FM2 socket is great because Amd will have another set of APUs that will go along with it instead of The one and done FM1 sockets, GO WITH FM2 A75 CHIPSET AND ABOVE!!!

A75 chipset costs more, and I don't believe you need the extra "features" that A75 chipset offers, and it does cost a lot more...A55 is "good enough" for basic needs...

Pros: good for a budget build. decent specs, HDMI and well made. plenty of sata connections (4). great mobo for a decent build, very happy with it, built a budget gaming pc.
even supports 32 GBs of ram, (2x16).

Cons: you get what you pay for.. 2 ram slots, 1 pci-e... front panel connection in the bottom middle of the board?

Other Thoughts: in retro spec, i should have bought a bigger board.for running two GPUs and better board cooling. but nothing a good case cant fix!

Or get a similar Asus motherboard with same chipset, if that is available in your area...

recommended budget Trinity cpu: ... 6819113283

AMD A4-5300 Trinity 3.4GHz (3.6GHz Turbo) Socket FM2 65W Dual-Core Desktop APU (CPU + GPU) with DirectX 11 Graphic AMD Radeon HD 7480D AD5300OKHJBOX

32 nm Trinity 65W
1MB L2 Cache
AMD Radeon HD 7480D


AMD FM2 Trinity is VERY power efficient...yes it is still rated at 65 Watts TDP BUT it has much lower power-saving states than older AMD K10 based processors:


Multiple low-power states
32-nm process for decreased power consumption
System Management Mode (SMM)
ACPI-compliant, including support for processor performance states (P-states),
processor power states (C-states), and sleep states including S0, S3, S4, and S5
Per compute module power gating (CC6)
PCIe core power gating
PCIe speed power policy
GPU power gating of Radeon Cores and video decode (UVD3)
AMD Turbo Core 3.0 technology

A nearly perfect HTPC processor

While opinions vary as to what, exactly, an HTPC entails, it's safe to say there are basic requirements nearly every enthusiast has for an HTPC: smaller form factor, as quiet as possible, low power usage, and ability to smoothly and accurately play a variety of video formats. Additional HTPC functions can include encoding prowess and lighter gaming. In my experience, Trinity APUs fulfill all of these roles extremely well.

Ganesh recently posted a thorough, excellent HTPC perspective on the A10-5800K. If you are thinking about building an HTPC, it's a must read. I've been able to spend some time with both the A10-5800K and the A4-5300 in HTPC systems, and have been thoroughly pleased with both in the HTPC usage scenario. The lowly A4-5300 is capable of smooth Blu-ray playback, both locally and via NAS, as well as full 1080p HD streaming playback in both Flash and Silverlight.
Ganesh noted that the Trinity APUs lack hardware decoding for 10-bit H.264, an increasingly popular format. While the A10-5800K cuts through these files with no problem via software solutions, the A4-5300 can occasionally bog down with it if you are taxing the system with other tasks (I frequently browse the web on a secondary monitor while watching movies—10-bit H.264 + Flash = not good on an A4). That said, all of the quad-core Trinity APUs can handle this admittedly specific niche usage scenario with aplomb.

So for just $105 ( plus shipping ) you have the mobo/cpu and video all looked after... just add some cheap ram, a "green" hdd, a sff case and you are good to go!! :D

Regarding the optical drive to install Windows then remove the optical drive after, I have found a faster and easier way... just use any cheap USB thumb drive ( 4 GB or larger so it can hold W7 or W8 ) , copy the Windows ISO to the thumb drive on your own computer , then simply boot off the USB thumb drive on your new computer and run Windows setup.. even a USB 2.0 thumb drive will install Windows much faster than any optica disc drive... and it saves you having to hook up an optical drive for the sole purpose of installing Windows then removing it from the system afterwards... just a tip...

Good luck and let us know how your project goes...
The richest man is not he who has the most, but he who needs the least. No good deed goes unpunished...

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