Atom based Intel board D525MW power usage

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You can find the full specs for Intel board D525MW on this link.

Intel motherboard D525MW comes with a dual core Atom processor at a cost of $79, including the CPU. This is a good price no matter, but if you keep your computer always ON, the power savings will pay for a system based on this board in less than a year as shown below.

Note that the CPU does NOT have a socket, it is soldered in. If, for whatever reason the CPU is fried, the whole mother board will have to be discarded. Potential drawback.

To power the board you could use a standard PC power supply and it will work. But while I was looking at the specs, I came across to an interesting feature of this board. You can power it with a simple 21 Volt DC voltage. Even 200 Watt PC power supply is an overkill for this board, it draws closer to 30 Watts during normal use.

There are two nice things about Intel’s D525MW: first, it is fanless so it is completely silent. Second, the power usage is so low that you could leave it on always at low energy cost.

To compare the power usage to my current desktop system HP Compaq to Intel’s D525MW, I measured the power usage with Kill-A-Watt device. The table below shows the summary of power usage for each computer in different states.

System State Low High
Intel D525MW Running 33-34 37
Shutdown 1.1
Asleep 1.5
AMD 1.6 Ghz Running 62 95
Shutdown 3.0
Asleep 5.3
HP Pentium 3.2 GHz Running 140 180-190
Shutdown 2.8
Asleep 4.2

The first system in this table is the Intel’s Atom based system, the second is my old test system, and the last one is my current desktop system. The ‘low’ reading is while the computer is idle, and the ‘high’ reading is when the computer is under load.

If we compare the power usage of the Atom system to the desktop system during idle state, we can see that the power saved is 140 – 34 watts per hour. Soo, over a period of one year the power savings will be 365 * 24 * (140 – 34) watt hours ( = 928.56 KWhr). At 11 cents a KWhr, the total power savings per year would be $102.14. This would definitely pay for the motherboard in less than a year.

There are several varieties of Atom motherboards. One has a dual monitor support, another has a support for HDMI port for connecting it to audio/video devices.

One application for this board could be to attach it to a monitor and use it as a thin client. Another application could be to use it together with a PCI express Hauppage card as a media center.

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3 Responses to Atom based Intel board D525MW power usage

  1. Alex says:

    What power supply would you recommender for a basic user? I have one of these things downstairs running an ubuntu/apache web server & home skype server, completely controlled via ssh. I am currently using a 350w power supply.

  2. nev says:

    Hi Alex-
    350W is the capacity of the power supply, the Atom board is using only about 30 Watts or so.
    You didn’t mention if you have DVD and/or hard drive in your system. If you do, they also
    need to be powered. If it is just the Atom board itself, it can be powered by a simple 21 Volt
    DC power supply rated at 50 Watts. Brick style with no fan. I haven’t done much research
    on power supplies so I can not recommend you a specific model. I saw one in
    for $15.99 by Habey. But it is a DC/DC power supply, it requires 12V DC input.
    Thanks for your interest

  3. Alex says:

    Thanks heaps for your help, Nev! The computer has incredibly power conserving components, 4GB SSD, 2GB RAM, the Intel board, and at present, a second-hand power-source. I shall look at newegg for a “21 Volt DC power supply ” as you suggested and then see what I can find on eBay. Thanks again! :)

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