some E350/HD 6310 results - AMD Zacate on MSI E350IA-E45

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wicky Offline
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Post: #1
So I've finally got my zacate platform in, snagged an MSI E350IA-E45. I put together a new pc to test its usability against my existing system, which was based around an e3300 celeron dual core and an HD 5570. The system is hooked to a Denon AVR 591 via HDMI, and displayed to my 46" Samsung LED LCD (UN46C6300SF).

New box:
AMD dual core E350 (1.6ghz)
HD 6130 graphics (80 shaders, 500mhz core, 1066 mhz ram, 256mb buffer)
MSI E350IA-E45
2x2 GB G.skill eco DDR3 1066 (1.35v cas 9)
Corsair F40 40gb SSD (sandforce based)
Mini-box M350 case
Mini-box 90w PicoPSU
Windows 7 64-bit
XBMC 10.1

So far I am really impressed with my results and thought I might share them in hopes of helping those interested in the platform for their own builds, and to perhaps get some things tested that you may be curious about before spending the money.

So first the CPU usage and power consumption figures. These are just from the system describe above, nothing more. Power draw was measured at the plug with a P3 Kill-A-Watt.

Sleep mode - 1w draw
Windows idle - 0-1% cpu usage/17w draw
XBMC idle - 20-26% CPU usage/25-26w draw
480p MKV h.264 - 8-11% CPU usage/18w draw
720p MKV h.264 - 10-15% CPU usage/18-19w draw
1080p MKV h.264 - 13-15% CPU usage/19-20w draw

these were using typical quality rips that would represent the average collection. But if anyone has any samples that can be freely distributed I'd be happy to use them as a base. Probably download the Big Buck Bunny short and test that. But so far I have to say I am pretty pleased with these results. XBMC has no problems offloading the decoding to the HD 6130, and the results are smooth as can be. No dropped frames even with a bit of skipping around.

I was a little surprised to see 20%+ cpu usage at idle in XBMC, but this is about what I saw with the e3300 and lower than the D510 atom (NM10 not Ion). But despite the idle load, the system is very responsive and I can still skip through 700 some-odd movies on my server without any real slow down and the thumbnails load up right on cue. I would say it will not be as smooth as a more powerful dual core like the e3300 I was using before, or the Athlon II X2s people might be using right now, but I would say its a noticeable step up over Atom.

Power consumption is great, 1w sleep paired with a quick resuming SSD means I can wake up the HTPC in about the same amount of time as it takes for my receiver and TV to turn on. It's a shame the XBMC interface itself isn't gpu-accelerated otherwise I bet you could shave another 5w off that idle figure. But the power draw is quite impressive under any scenario.

I honestly thought I'd be selling this little board after toying with it but I think it's going to be my new system once I rip out that useless 40mm fan. I'll hook the old box back up later to get some comparison numbers, but for now I think these are solid results.

Hope this helps someone Smile

==
Old media pc:
Intel Celeron e3200 @ 2.9ghz
ZOTAC G43ITX-A-E
ATI Radeon HD 5570
2gb DDR2 800
40gb Intel X25-V SSD
Lian Li Q07 case

Sleep mode - 58w draw (hibernate - 5w)
Windows idle - 0-1% cpu usage/60w draw
XBMC idle - 15-20% CPU usage/70w draw
480p MKV h.264 - 5-8% CPU usage/66w draw
720p MKV h.264 - 4-9% CPU usage/66-67w draw
1080p MKV h.264 - 6-12% CPU usage/69w draw

So mean average power draw of my old box was about 65w, average for the new zacate system is a mere 22w. Thats nearly a third of the power, without any significant sacrifice in performance or capability. And to put that in perspective, my old system was fairly efficient, a typical system built around a 65/73/80w cpu (athlon ii x2, phenom ii x2/core i3) would be looking at ~80-100w average. Atom and ION are great and well within this range, but for Zacate to offer lower power and higher performance really makes this the ideal HTPC platform for most builders out there!

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(This post was last modified: 2011-04-11 02:44 by wicky.)
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HansP Online
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Post: #2
how fast does it boot to windows ?
u make me happy because i was seriously doubting between atom and E350 Smile
but then the Asrock E350M1 board

how is the fan noise on this board ?
price difference is not too much between the ASRock and the MSI


this helps me alot !
i apreciate this !
(This post was last modified: 2011-03-11 11:15 by HansP.)
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Ethereal_Gaz Offline
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Post: #3
Very useful. I would also be very interested to know what temperatures you are getting when you remove the fan. Could be an alternative to purchasing the ASUS solution which is passively cooled as purchased.

Cheers

G
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HansP Online
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Post: #4
i found the same board in germany for only 10euro's more than the ASROCK , with this i get USB 3 so i'm gonna go to germany ^^
1hr trip or so it's worth it
god bless company car
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doedalein Offline
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Post: #5
it is possible E-350 plattform use under xmbc Linux? (with hardware acceleration)
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HansP Online
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Post: #6
not yet with full video support
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nemek Offline
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Post: #7
Quote:it is possible E-350 plattform use under XBMC Linux? (with hardware acceleration)
Limited (HP@L4.1 / AP@L3 max) and not out of box.
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HansP Online
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Post: #8
i'm gonna go for windows 7 lite just for the easy acces on NAS and other programs ( torrents etc )

maybe if supported later i'll go for linux Smile
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wicky Offline
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Post: #9
as for boot times, measured with a stop watch from power on until the windows loads XBMC it was 26 seconds. The UFI system is quicker than the traditional BIOS and you don't wind up wasting precious seconds while various ports and devices are recognized and initialized. It's not quite as fast as I would want, but I think anyone who deals with boot times on any other system would have no issues with it and probably be happy at the few seconds shaved.

I currently have the fan turned down to 12-25% speed with the unit enclosed in a drawer with no ventilation other than a hole for the wires. CPU temps seem to hit upper 40s without any issues and the GPU is typically into the upper 50s. At this point that fan is moving virtually no air and there is no air circulating in the cabinet. So I think I'll be able to remove the fan without any issues, but I expect temps to rise a fair bit more. From what the AMD white papers there is still room to grow, probably another 20 degrees on the cpu and another 30 on the gpu before you may start running into throttling. I'm gunna torture this thing to find its limits lol Big Grin

Looking back I'd probably suggest the Asus for most people given that it has onboard 802.11n through mini pci-express, bluetooth, and natively passive. I don't need any of the other features so I didn't feel like spending the extra $30-$40 for a passive heatsink, but with as good as this platform is, I think that may wind up being the weapon of choice.

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Ethereal_Gaz Offline
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Post: #10
Glad to hear that, I've just (pre)ordered the AMD version with passive cooling. Hopefully it will come back into stock soon or I'll have a lovely empty M350 ITX enclosure screwed to the back of my TV. Big Grin
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a11599 Offline
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Post: #11
Hi wicky, thanks for the report. Could you measure the consumption with XBMC idle and black screensaver "running"?
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HansP Online
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Post: #12
i've just installed the case and now figuring out how to make a boot usb drive Smile

but the fan is not noticable ... it's extremely quiet !

how hot should a amd processor max get ?
i think i'm gonna get an extra 4cm fan to put in the side ...
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Laserfreak Offline
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Post: #13
Hi , I have nearly the same setup like you ( MSI e350 ) and after playing around some hours i can confirm that XBMC runs quite fine under Ubuntu 10.10 with VA.

H264 runs perfect with ~15% CPU usage on both cores ( high Bitrate mkv ) .

I have installed the latest ATI Drivers and followed these instructions :

http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=80940

( Choose the latest VAAPI lyberys , instead of the old ones mentioned in the thread )


After that I applyed the patch from this thread to avoid stuttering :

http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=86581&page=7

Now everything runs fine Nod
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poofyhairguy Offline
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Post: #14
Laserfreak Wrote:Hi , I have nearly the same setup like you ( MSI e350 ) and after playing around some hours i can confirm that XBMC runs quite fine under Ubuntu 10.10 with VA.

H264 runs perfect with ~15% CPU usage on both cores ( high Bitrate mkv ) .

I have installed the latest ATI Drivers and followed these instructions :

http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=80940

( Choose the latest VAAPI lyberys , instead of the old ones mentioned in the thread )


After that I applyed the patch from this thread to avoid stuttering :

http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=86581&page=7

Now everything runs fine Nod

Cool, that is great to know.

Mini/Micro ITX Frontend (with SSD) + Mediaserver/NAS + Logitech Harmony + LCD/LED/Plasma TV + Nice AV Receiver + XBMC + USENET + sabnzbd + sickbeard +couchpotato

My Setup--HTPC Building Guide- Start Here--Advice on Hard Drives and SSDs--Mediaserver Guide--Harmony Guide
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wicky Offline
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Post: #15
a11599 Wrote:Hi wicky, thanks for the report. Could you measure the consumption with XBMC idle and black screensaver "running"?

I'll confirm this soon, but I suspect CPU usage and power draw to be the same as the xbmc idle figure I posted on the first post. The CPU is handling all the work of running xbmc, unlike during video decoding where the CPU is doing less work and the gnu does it's job. It seems strange that the system consumes less power running a 1080p video than it does sitting idle.

I'll also retest everything once I get a chance to do some overclocking, Im fairly certain there is 100-200mhz to gain on that CPU. I'm betting one of these chips at about 2ghz will be perfection. Temperatures are not always the best indicaters of stability, but from what I've read 70c is going to be fine, if not higher. I'll torture this thing and find out for sure lol.

And great news laserfreak! I hadn't had a chance to test outside of windows 7, but glad your findings are similar! I think with Intel locking Nvidia out in favor of their own horrible IGPs they are all but forcing people to jump into AMDs arms in the next generations of these products. So better linux support is going to be critical.

I would really like to see AMD add a dedicated side port memory system for the igp though. as good as the 6310 is, I think performance in many ways (certainly games) could improve without having to use system ram.

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