Intel D201GLY/D201GLY2 power consumption measurements and performance


Power consumption

We recently got a D201GLY / D201GLY2 mini-ITX motherboard and we tested the power consumption levels and CPU performance against similar motherboards. Since the D201GLY is a very low cost motherboard it could be an excellent candidate for a variety of low cost computing solutions.

For the test we used a picoPSU-90 power supply because it has very high efficiency and it also fits nicely into this motherboard. The picoPSU-90 is fed by a 12V power supply. In line with the 12V input we placed a shunt resistor so that we can measure and plot the current consumption. The graphs represent current consumption, so you must multiply it by 12 in order to get the total power consumption. For more information please see the picoPSU-90 webpage

Basically, each division represents about 12watts. The setup (for the D201GLY / D201GLY2 and generic VIA C7 motherboard) has a 3.5 drive with Windows XP. We measured the drive (Seagate 7200RPM, 250Gb) separately and the average power consumption was about 6 watts ([email protected] + [email protected]). The graph represents about 1 minute, from power-ON to Windows coming up. As you can see, at the beginning there is slight power spike, representing the HDD spinup and initial in-rush current from the on-board BUCK converters, etc.

D201GLY @ 1.3Ghz + 512Mb DDR2 + 3.5 HDD power chart.
Average power consumption=~25watts for Intel D20GLY and 28watts for Intel D20GLY2 / D20GLY2T, 6watt HDD included

VIA C7 1Ghz, CN400 Chipset + 512Mb DDR02 + 3.5 HDD power chart
Average power consumption ~20watt, 6 watt HDD included.

LX-800 board mini-ITX board from PCengines (
power consumption: About 5watts.
NOTE: In this setup no HDD was used, system booted from a Compact Flash).


The D201GLY is a rather green motherboard, consuming an average of only 25watts and 28watts for Intel D20GLY2 / D20GLY2T. The board power consumption power levels are rather close to the VIA C7 implementations, which are well known for low power consumptions. Our CPU benchmark delivers the same message: the Intel CPU  perform better than VIA-EX CPU.

This system can be powered by the picoPSU-90 with a 60watt AC adapter . For applications where input voltage cannot be a regulated 12V source (example: car batteries, automotive applications), the M2-ATX Automotive power supply will be a good candidate. NOTE: Do not use M1-ATX as the D201GLY draws V(core) power from the 12V rail, therefore the M1-ATX might not work well despite the fact that it is a 90watt PSU.


Intel D201GLY Benchmarks

We are often asked about performance differences between VIA and Intel mini-itx Motherboard. In order to answer to this question put some comparative information and performed a few interesting benchmarks of processors on Linux, to show some of the differences. The power consumption test has been performed with picoPSU-90 power supply because it has very high efficiency and it also fits nicely into this motherboard.

We chose a suits of Linux benchmarks to illustrate the capabilities of those processors. These tests were made using the iMedia Linux 5.0.4 installation. and we used a 32-bit and 64-bit benchmark during the synthetic analysis (bytemark tests).  For the all of the benchmark analysis we used the same driver version: cvs version of OpenChrome VIA driver for VIA EX and Xorg SIS driver for Intel motherboard. The both motherboard has been tested with the same Linux kernel with no special optimization so that they can be replicated easily by anyone using a similar configuration.For all of our tests, you will see 32-bit binaries on 32-bit Linux kernels.

Below, you can see which configurations were used for the benchmark analysis.

Performance Test Configuration
CPU: GenuineIntel Intel(R) Celeron(R) CPU processor 215 @ 1.33GHz 1333MHz
L2 Cache : 512 KB
OS : Linux 2.6.20-imedia-i686
C compiler : 4.1.2
Baseline (LINUX) : AMD K6/233*, 512 KB L2-cache, gcc, libc-5.4.38 
CPU : CentaurHauls VIA Esther processor 1500MHz 1500MHz
L2 Cache : 128 KB
OS : Linux 2.6.20-imedia-i686
C compiler : 4.1.2
Baseline (LINUX) : AMD K6/233*, 512 KB L2-cache, gcc, libc-5.4.38

BYTEmark benchmark

First attempt is to take BYTE magazine's BYTEmark benchmark programs that are free for download. The BYTEmark benchmark test suite is used to determine how the processor, its caches and coprocessors influence overall system performance, in our case the VIA-EX CPU and Intel CPU. The benchmarks are designed to expose the capabilities of a system's CPU and were derived directly, without algorithmic change, from the BYTE web site. There are 10 tests in the BYTEmark test suite. Each uses a well-known algorithm to analyze the full spectrum of processor performance in the same way real-world applications do.

Below you will find the scores for the individual test that make up the BYTEmark testing suite. Higher number is Better.

Numeric Sort, FP Emulator, Idea and Huffman are part of Integer Index
String Sort, Bitfield and Assignment make up the Memory Index
The other tests are part of FP Index


Opstone benchmarks

We also performed some Synthetic benchmarks, the Opstone Benchmarks, a simple yet highly optimized mathematical-based set of benchmarks. These tests are used to quantify the performance of a computer's processor (CPU) in our case the motherborad CPU of Intel an VIA-EX. Below is the we presented the Obstone benchmarks:  

Lame MP3 encoding

We'll next turn our attention to another number-crunching activity. LAME MP3 encoding is popular with many of our readers C, for encoding digital music to MP3 format. LAME 3.97 32bits (>) Encoding as 44.1 kHz 192 kbps stereo MPEG-1 Layer III (7.3x) qval=2. We ran lame on a 192MB .wav file using the command equivalent to the one below:

lame sample.wav -b 192 -m s -h - >/dev/null

Encoding time in seconds, lower is better.

Video Playback

The CPU Load has also been one of the more contentious issues with the users. We ran video playback test into our system and register the CPU IDLE (%) to determine the load of the processor. We ran Video playback on the mPlayer for this 3 type of the files:

Video: 720x576 MPEG PES, Full NTSC
Audio: 224Kbit 48000Hz 2 Channels

Video: FFMEG H264 848x480 23fps 24bpp ( Apple Video Commercial GetAMac Security )
Audio: AAC 128Kbps

Video: XVID 608x336 24bpp 23.9fsp 1019kbps
Audio: MP3 128Kbps 48000Hz 2 Channels

Higher is better.


Final thoughts

The VIA -EX and Intel CPU perform very well for what they were designed. A straight comparison of processor against processor is not as simple as it looks but if you look at these tests it is very clear that Intel CPU came ahead. In conclusion, the Intel CPU  perform better than VIA-EX CPU. What the VIA and Intel motherboatrd has going for it is it's small size and cool running processor and as you will see low power consumption. It's reccomendable for home users, media serving, or anywhere a small quite machine would fit in in generally for applications that don't require lots of power.

Note: We ran through all these benchmarks multiple times to reduce the likelihood of an external factor.