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Fanless HTPC: Intel 'Bay Trail-D' Pentium J2900 & Asrock Q2900-ITX Review

By Steve ยท 6 replies
Sep 29, 2014
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  1. fanless bay trail-d intel pentium j2900 intel asrock mini itx pentium j2900 bay trail-d q2900-itx

    In our budget CPU roundup earlier this year, AMD's Kabini Athlon 5350 squared off against Intel's Bay Trail-D Celeron J1900, showing itself to be better at gaming and encoding workloads while Intel's chip used 30% less power and kept up in performance elsewhere. All things considered both platforms were very evenly matched, however, so we're curious to see whether Asrock's latest Bay Trail-D creation can help give Intel an edge. 

    The Asrock Q2900-ITX ships with a Pentium J2900 on a Mini-ITX board for $104, pricing it straight against AMD's offering. The Pentium chip is nearly identical to Intel's Celeron J1900 at first glance, as both are quad-core parts without Hyper-Threading, have 2MB of L2 cache, support up to 8GB of RAM and share the same Intel HD graphics. Where they differ is in raw clock speed.

    Read the complete review.

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 6, 2015
  2. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    Very cool to see put into perspective since lately the area of low power small systems has become a popular point especially to developer groups. I am actually interested in getting one of these over user my gaming laptop to code on and do media centric work with. I was looking more at the AM1 mostly for the fact that it had the flexibility in upgrading and swapping parts plus that motherboard with the laptop plugin from Asrock just had my attention.

    Sounds to me still though besides the slightly lower power usage the Athlon 5350 is still a winner to me. Just seemed like it over took the J2900 more times than naught and had a better GPU to boot. Though I would not see anyone attempting to game on these anytime soon :p. I actuall y though am curious what would happen if you put in something like an R7 250 on the 5350 if something like League would play well on it just for kicks.

    Very cool review @Steve, I am actually shocked once I saw the numbers the performance of these two chips (was actually expecting the Intel to come out ahead more often).
    Julio Franco and Steve like this.
  3. HTPC builders do buy fanless rigs because they're frequently after something that's silent or near it. They go to great lengths to making their machines fanless or to insulate them in way that they're as silent as possible, because having a computer droning away in the corner or in a cabinet detracts from the movie watching experience.
  4. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 2,357   +1,516

    Who said they didn't? Seems obvious that anyone would want a fan-less setup if they can get away with it.
  5. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,514   +2,308

    @Steve It didn't escape me that you were using $100.00 AMD graphics cards against the i3-4130's IGP for gaming results. Considering the i3-3140 is about $120.00 total, and ruins 1080p @60Hz, I think I gotz to git me one o' doz.

    Although, I confess my interest is peaked wondering what Intel's HD-4600 graphics will do.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2014
  6. It seem to me that, for a silent mini-itx build, the important difference between the Intel and the AMD is that all the AMD boards/processors appear to come with tiny fans, while the Intel processor boards are fitted with passive heatsinks. For a completely silent setup in a tiny case like the M350 there is only one option - Intel - unless you have a case large enough to remove the stock heatsink/fan from the AMD and fit a larger passive one.
  7. Stevo

    Stevo TS Rookie

    Power numbers look a bit whacked, they must be including a rather hefty PSU. I have the Q2900 in a <5L box running off of a 30W Toshiba laptop brick and pico style PSU no problem. Idles 12.75W from the wall, brick consumes ~12W, playing an HD video ~22W at the wall. CPU only has a TDP of 10W. Running Linux Mint, a nice combo.

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