measures total system power draw (watts) with the aid of an Extech 380803 AC
Power Analyzer and A-PFC compliant Seasonic
SS-760KM power supply. The meter is placed between the 120V AC outlet and the PC
power supply and the computer stressed. Total system power draw is recorded and
compared to the PC's idle state.
|Total System Power Draw|
AMD E-350 +
nVidia Geforce GTS250
AMD E-350 on
(Radeon HD 6310)
(Idel @ desktop)
Gigabyte's miniITX GA-E350N-USB3 motherboard requires very
little power while operating with the AMD E-350's integrated Radeon HD6310
graphics core. At idle, the system sips a little as 42W! Under CPU-load
conditions this figure jumps to 57W. With the IGP stressed by 3DMark the total
power consumption is a modest 53W.
Tiny and Slow, Yet suited to Media PC/HTPC
First the bad, then the good. Like the Intel
Atom, AMD's Fusion E-350 APU is anaemic and underpowered compared to entry level
desktop processors. It does have a better IGP performance than the Intel Atom
and it does support DX11, but where 3D gaming is concerned these are really
token attributes. To put it one way, a weather balloon does not an airship
E-350 APU is not a total loss however, far from it in fact. The little chip is
sufficiently capable of filling in the role of a lightly used desktop
replacement computer; a couple orders of magnitude above a Netbook when paired
with desktop memory and HDD/SSD. The Gigabyte GA-E350N-USB3 is capable of modest computing
tasks like email, Word, internet, media streaming, music, Media PC and HTPC
applications. It's even upgradable with a full PCI Express x16 videocard, but
keep in mind the CPU is soldered in place and will always be the limiting factor
as PCSTATS extensive benchmarks have demonstrated. If you need an inexpensive
desktop PC platform for the office, this is not it. This AMD A75-based board is a much better option.
the Gigabyte GA-E350N-USB3 system in the performance scale is difficult without
an Intel Atom board to make direct comparisons against. However, if you're
looking for an ultra compact desktop computer the Gigabyte GA-E350N-USB3 board
slots-in at the lowest run on the entry level computer scale. As an all-in-one
PC platform (and precursor to the AMD Fusion A8/A6 APU) it's best suited to
MediaPC / HTPC applications where a good solid HDMI output, Gigabit network
connection and quiet cooling are key points.
Good. The Gigabyte GA-E350N-USB3 miniITX motherboard is well suited to
MediaPC tasks thanks to it's IGP, small board footprint, high level of
integration (USB 3.0, networking, SATA III, audio, etc.) and nearly silent
CPU+IGP thermal solution. The 17x17cm is perfectly suited to console sized media
PC chassis like this.
In media playback the Radeon HD6310 IGP ranged from
25-35% CPU load, playback was smooth and stutter free. Married to the right size
chassis, the Gigabyte GA-E350N-USB3 is just powerful enough for Media PC tasks.
If WiFi were included on board the platform would be sheer perfection for its
niche. As it stands this is easily solved with a PCI Express x1 half-height Wifi
On that note, we're disappointed such a small
motherboard requires both 24-pin and 4-pin main power connections from the power
supply. Given the low power requirements of this board without a discrete
videocard, it can hardly be maxing out the power available to it over a 24-pin
mainATX power cable can it?
To sum up. As a full desktop PC the Gigabyte
GA-E350N-USB3 is too hampered by a netbook-worthy processor that's too weak and
too slow at moderately intensive tasks, as Sysmark 2007
demonstrated. As a HTPC/MediaPC it's got just the right amount of power and
integration in a compact footprint for streaming movies to a nearby HDTV, music
out to speakers, or as a small footprint PC for very light duty.
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