AMD AM1 Retested on 60 Watt Power Supply

Subject: Editorial | April 23, 2014 - 09:51 PM |
Tagged: TDP, Athlon 5350, Asus AM1I-A, amd, AM1

If I had one regret about my AM1 review that posted a few weeks ago, it was that I used a pretty hefty (relatively speaking) 500 watt power supply for a part that is listed at a 25 watt TDP.  Power supplies really do not hit their efficiency numbers until they are at least under 50% load.  Even the most efficient 500 watt power supply is going to inflate the consumption numbers of these diminutive parts that we are currently testing.

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Keep it simple... keep it efficient.

Ryan had sent along a 60 watt notebook power supply with an ATX cable adapter at around the same time as I started testing on the AMD Athlon 5350 and Asus AM1I-A.  I was somewhat roped into running that previously mentioned 500 watt power supply due to comparative reasons.  I was using a 100 watt TDP A10-6790 APU with a pretty loaded Gigabyte A88X based ITX motherboard.  That combination would have likely fried the 60 watt (12v x 5A) notebook power supply under load.

Now that I had a little extra time on my hands, I was able to finally get around to seeing exactly how efficient this little number could get.  I swapped the old WD Green 1 TB drive for a new Samsung 840 EVO 500 GB SSD.  I removed the BD-ROM drive completely from the equation as well.  Neither of those parts uses a lot of wattage, but I am pushing this combination to go as low as I possibly can.

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The results are pretty interesting.  At idle we see the 60 watt supply (sans spinning drive and BD-ROM) hitting 12 watts as measured from the wall.  The 500 watt power supply and those extra pieces added another 11 watts of draw.  At load we see a somewhat similar numbers, but not nearly as dramatic as at idle.  The 60 watt system is drawing 29 watts while the 500 watt system is at 37 watts.

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So how do you get from a 60 watt notebook power adapter to ATX standard? This is the brains behind the operation.

The numbers for both power supplies are both good, but we do see that we get a nice jump in efficiency from using the smaller unit and a SSD instead of a spinning drive.  Either way, the Athlon 5350 and AMD AM1 infrastructure sip power as compared to most desktop processors.

Source: AMD

April 25, 2014 | 01:54 AM - Posted by dragosmp (not verified)

It's a good comparison point, it seems the AM1 really has laptop-level power draw. From my experience though laptop bricks aren't very efficient, so the DC power draw should be lower still.

I have 2 questions, maybe a few thought about them: is it possible to mesure DC power with a current probe on the +12V power cable and couls you test on the 60W brick with the same components? A linux bootable distro comparison point would do.


April 25, 2014 | 11:02 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Could a 500 watt power supply power about 4 of these boards, and an ethernet switch? I would love to see someone tryout 4 Athlon 5350s configured into a low cost Linux based rendering cluster, or computing cluster. I know that there are Raspberry PI users that have created PI based clusters, but these AM1 based APUs may have a compute/watt that is better than the PI. Do you know of any enthusiast websites that do any low cost cluster based builds or reviews, around these AM1 based systems? The Raspberry PI has a few sites, but the AM1 platform could be very popular for a low cost Linux cluster based computing/rendering platform.

May 26, 2014 | 05:21 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

where can i buy this or whats its called?

August 28, 2014 | 05:10 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

thanks for the test, seems to be the only test on the internet with a pico psu and this asus board