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need low TDP CPU but no Atom!

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  • need low TDP CPU but no Atom!

    Hi There,

    I am currently planning my first car pc.

    As power source i want to use a pico-type psu and I think that i will go with a mini itx board.

    I now searched for suitable CPUS but I didnt find any ones that are lower than 45W TDP. Compared to a D510 Atom which has 13W TDP this is very much!

    What are low TDP CPUs and how much heat can I save by underclocking the CPU?

  • #2
    Look into mobile processors. Lots of the Core 2 Duos are 25w TDP.

    Try RevFE
    The best resurrected frontend I've ever used, period.


    • #3
      If power is the consideration, take a look at the IGEP V2 from ISEE or the Beagleboard XM. It is a linux embedded device that is extremely low power.
      Originally posted by ghettocruzer
      I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
      Want to:
      -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
      -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video


      • #4
        thx for the advices!

        Acutually i want to run Win7 x64 and Centrafuse as frontend so a linux embedded System is out of discussion! The embedded Sys will also have even lesser guts than the Atom!

        25W TDP sounds interessting. Which socket do this core2duos use?

        I only know the socket P which is outdated and the socket 988 which is only used on mobile boards afaik.


        • #5
          There are lots of Socket P processors on newegg and as far as motherboards go, a quick search turned up this

          I guess you are stuck with "outdated" socket P if you don't want to go atom and need a low power processor. Sounds like you need to do more research and see what's out there.

          Try RevFE
          The best resurrected frontend I've ever used, period.


          • #6
            Search for "Core 2 Duo Mobile" on The CPUs start at $215, not cheap.

            Somebody on another thread mentioned AMD Ontario and Zacate, forthcoming Q1 2011.

            Basically if money is no concern and you need it now, buy a C2D Mobile. If money is tight and need it now, Atom is hard to beat. If you can wait a few months then wait for the new AMD offerings. Those would be my choices in the low TDP CPUs.


            • #7
              AMD has Socket AM3 processors at 25 Watts TDP, 270u 2.0 GHz.,260u 1.8 GHz. and 250u 1.6 GHz. They also have a 20 Watt 160u 1.8 GHz. These are dual core, 2 MB L2 cache (250u is 1MB). Click on link for more specs.

     has the 270u listed at $91.16 USD, 260u $90.94,250u $78.76 and 150u at $48.76
     also lists these processors

              A warning, no one keeps stock, BLT says it takes 15 days to order in, but my experience is 3 weeks to arrive and 1 more week to ship, and don't get it shipped USPS priority parcel, or it's 2-3 more weeks to arrive.

              You can get a Socket AM3 785GX-SP128M for $129 at
              Or a Socket AM3 890GX-USB3 for $199.00

              NVix is a US company, so you should be able to RMA the motherboard if it doesn't work or malfunctions under warranty. I haven't checked on other manufacturers of mini ITX AMD boards.

              Don't ask the quality of the J&W Minix motherboards, I have the 890GX-USB3,(nice board, VGA/DVI/HDMI, So-Dimm PC3-850/1066,comes with N WiFi and Bluetooth adapter, PCI-e, USB3 and SATA III) but waiting for my 270u CPU to arrive by snailmail.

              I've never underclocked a AMD CPU, but imagine it depends the same as overclocking, some from one batch might work OK, other's not. The 780GX-USB has the ability to Under/over clock CPU's, and if you upgrade to a newer board later on, you can always put in a 6 core and use it for a home entertainment unit.


              • #8
                ty, for the advcie! The Athlon II X2 270u looks very very promissing.
                Unfortunately it isnt aviable in germany yet but I have to wait about 6mounths till my car arrives anyways.


                • #9
                  Intel Celeron 430 and 440 are 35W cpu's available now. I've had one in my carputer in the past and it worked great. I'm running a 65W e5200 now just because I wanted to try watching TV (ATSC) and needed a bit more horsepower to decode HDTV, but the 430 worked so well that I have a home server based off one as well.
                  Zotac N630I-D-E M/B w/ Nvidia 7100, E5300 cpu, Xenarc 700IDT, M2-ATX, XP, RR & DFX 5.1.


                  • #10
                    i run a celeron 430. its plenty fast enough, even though i get a lag after saying commands.... i think i have a software problem though. its a night and day difference over an atom setup though.

                    edit- fixed my problem! debugging for rrvoice was set to OFF in the config program, but once i went into the rrvoice.ini file i noticed it was set to TRUE. i wrote in False and now everything is instant.


                    • #11
                      One thing about the Atom is that a CPU fan is not needed. Is a fan required for Celeron 430 or Athlon X2 II?


                      • #12
                        an atom setup might need a fan based on the heatsink you use... my atom htpc does have a fan.

                        my truckpc with the celeron 430 chip does have a fan too... but again its not like the system will instantly cook itself if the fan stops. i had a wire blocking my fan once for days... it only overheated after about an hour of heavy use. a bigger heatsink would likely allow me to run fanless, i just have no desire to do so (my stock fan is silent anyway)

                        remember that the celeron 430 chip is actually a conroe 1 single core. this is why its so damn fast for its rated mhz. also, the 35wTDP is the maximum it will draw... my entire pc normally idles around 29w and barely goes above 50w at full load.


                        • #13
                          Agreed with trader007. I run the stock fan but you can only hear it when the engine is turned off. I was going to get a silent hs/fan but this one is so quiet that I didn't bother. Since it's only a 35W TDP cpu, Intel didn't put a mondo fan on it because it wasn't required.

                          And yes, being a conroe, the performance is quite good. Coupled with the right GPU it can easily be used for an HTPC, which I have done as well.
                          Zotac N630I-D-E M/B w/ Nvidia 7100, E5300 cpu, Xenarc 700IDT, M2-ATX, XP, RR & DFX 5.1.


                          • #14
                            Low TDP / Wattage Intel CPU other than an ATOM

                            There are Some 10w, 17w Core2Duo CPU's that will work in one of the Commel boards (LS-372, LS-373)



                            • #15
                              Zacate is out now:
                              18w tdp can outdo a slow i5