Gigabyte GC230D Atom Mini-ITX motherboard assessment

Power consumption has become an increasingly important issue that is a dual challenge for processing units today. New processor architectures are more efficient than ever as the demand for more mobile and cooler units has increased rapidly. But perhaps most important is today's global need to reduce electricity consumption. In many households with at least one or more PCs and the increasing spread of jobs in companies, a significant part of the power we consume can be attributed to computers.

Out of curiosity, I recently ran some power consumption tests on my own PC, which admittedly uses the latest hardware available on the market. Now keep in mind that this computer is running around the clock. The results were somewhat worrying and sucked out about 300 watts when idling and almost 500 watts under load. In combination with a 30-inch LCD and a number of additional devices connected to it, things add up, especially the electricity bill.

After a closer look at how I spend my time on this computer, the whole setup made little sense, since I'm lucky enough to be playing on my computer for an hour on an average day. In addition, a quad-core processor, four hard drives in RAID0 and a GeForce GTX 280 are not necessarily the necessary hardware for tasks such as web design, word processing and sending e-mails.

That's why I decided to split my computer into two parts: a simpler, low-power desktop that is used for 24/7 work, and a power-hungry gaming monster that is used here and there for a few hours .

The question that is still open is how best to build a low-power desktop computer that still has the courage to do the job. Another aspect I really like about owning a low power desktop computer is that it can be small, very small. This is where the Gigabyte GC230D motherboard comes in. This new Gigabyte motherboard measures only 17 x 17 cm (6.7 inches) and in this area an Intel 1.6 GHz processor with 512 KB L2 cache is integrated.

This processor is better known as the Intel Atom 230, which is manufactured in a 45 nm design process with a core area of ​​only 25 mm2 and a thermal design process of only 4 watts!

The Atom 230 is based on Intel's Diamondville architecture and is the only model released to date that supports 64-bit code (x86-64). Although a tiny 1.6 GHz processor doesn't sound like much, it's really sufficient for simple everyday tasks like word processing …

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