We have upgraded our power testing equipment, and now use a Yokogawa WT310 power meter for testing. The Yokogawa WT310 feeds its data through a USB cable to another machine where we can capture the test results. To test total system power use, we used AIDA64 Stability test to load the CPU, and then recorded the results. We also now add in the power use for a server from an off state, to hitting the power button to turn it on, and take it all the way to the desktop. This gives us data on power consumption during the boot up process.
Here we can see that the system with the Atom C2550 uses a little more power. Power use jumps right up to a peak of about 47 watts when we start the tests. In some of our SPEC CPU2006 tests, we did see peak power use in the range of 52 watts. Our tests showed rather low power use numbers - about 10 watts lower than on other platforms. This helps to keep the system cool, and lower running costs.
When turned off, the C2550D4I uses about four watts to keep IPMI active. After powering on, power jumps to about 48 watts, and then peaks out at about the same load. After a brief run up of the server, and booting the OS, the ASRock C2550D4I Server motherboard will settle down to the 37 watt range. It is useful to know what the boot up power demands would be like when powering up a rack of these servers.
The ASRock C2550D4I is a very compact server motherboard, which includes a great number of SATA ports that can power a large storage server like the ASRock Rack 1U12LX-C2550.
The C2550D4I is impressive because it uses such low power; it uses less power than other motherboards of this type that we have tested, yet performance does not seem effected by the lower power draw.
The motherboard itself uses very low power, and requires only passive cooling. We had no issues with running the test setup with no fans, although it did get rather warm to the touch under very heavy loads. However, under normal conditions, we do not think this would be a problem.
As we expect, the performance of the Atom C2550 is not its primary focus; the strengths of the C2550D4I are its storage capabilities. Several systems we have looked at can handle twelve hard drives in a 1U server case. This makes a very compact system that can expand the server rack to increase storage capabilities.
The C2550D4I would also make a great project board for small PCs and home servers. It has plenty of power to handle most desktop applications, and even some games; do not expect much in the gaming area though. One of the good things about this board is its passive heat sink that does not require a CPU fan to keep cool, so it can make for a silent running PC in a small form factor.
PRICING: You can find the ASRock C2550D4I for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.
United States: The ASRock C2550D4I retails for $299.99 at Amazon.
Product Summary Breakdown
|Quality including Design and Build||95%|
|Bundle and Packaging||90%|
|Value for Money||95%|
|Overall TweakTown Rating||93%|
The Bottom Line: ASRock Rack'a C2550D4I Mini-ITX motherboard is an excellent small form factor server board. Passive cooling, low power use, and a large amount of storage capacity are the key points to this well designed motherboard.
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