Power Consumption and Thermal Performance

The power consumption at the wall was measured with a 4K display being driven through the HDMI port. In the graphs below, we compare the idle and load power of the ASRock 4X4 BOX-4800U with other low power PCs evaluated before. For load power consumption, we ran the AIDA64 System Stability Test with various stress components, and noted the maximum sustained power consumption at the wall.

Idle Power Consumption

The idle power of 10.45W is a tad too high compared to the Intel NUCs. The peak power consumption is also low, compared to other systems.

Our thermal stress routine starts with the system at idle, followed by four stages of different system loading profiles using the AIDA64 System Stability Test (each of 30 minutes duration). In the first stage, we stress the CPU, caches and RAM. In the second stage, we add the GPU to the above list. In the third stage, we stress the GPU standalone. In the final stage, we stress all the system components (including the disks). Beyond this, we leave the unit idle in order to determine how quickly the various temperatures in the system can come back to normal idling range. The various clocks, temperatures and power consumption numbers for the system during the above routine are presented in the graphs below.

ASRock 4X4 BOX-4800U System Loading with the AIDA64 System Stability Test

The frequencies stay above the base value (1.8 GHz) advertised. Being actively cooled, the temperature of the package doesn't exceed 95C. The key is the package power - for CPU alone, the steady state is around 15W. With the GPU in the mix, it goes up to around 20W (though instantaneous values go as high as 30W for very short bursts).

ASRock 4X4 BOX-4800U System Loading with Prime95 and Furmark

The artificial power virus test of both Prime95 and Furmark results in the package temperature going as high as 100C. According to the official specifications, the maximum permitted temperature of the Ryzen 7 4800U is 105C. The thermal solution is able to keep it below that number, allowing the processor to deliver its advertised performance in a sustained manner.

HTPC Credentials - II Concluding Remarks
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  • philehidiot - Wednesday, November 25, 2020 - link

    I've been drinking, it's 1900 and I've only eaten breakfast today so bear with me.

    I'm just astonished that we're now using 64GB DDR4 to eliminate any chance bottlenecking. My last system had 24GB DDR3 and I'm now on 16GB DDR4 with no memory concerns.

    As for *hic* SFF HTPC use, AMD has driver issues. I once said to a guy who deals in GPGPU stuff that "I don't have enough experience in drivers or coding to be able to say whether AMD's drivers are good or bad" and his response was "that's the same problem AMD have". If I'm using a PC for relaxing, having to debug or troubleshoot is not ideal. It's a shame, as noted in the conclusion here, that QA is often done on Intel systems and AMD don't get a look-in. Hopefully, as AMD become profitable and more performant they'll be able to convince people to QA on their hardware as well.

    They definitely need to sort out their drivers and assess the OEM support for other hardware. It's a sad fact that, since I dropped Intel for AMD (both CPU and GPU), I've had more crashes in a month than in years of Intel/Nvidia systems. I've lost more time to lost work than when I was using Windows 98 and CTRL+S after every change is back to being automatic.

    A few months ago I was trying to get 4K working on Netflix and their website specified only Nvidia card support or Intel iGPU decode support. Their support staff had never heard of the issue and so I went through the codecs supported by AMD and pointed out at least their hardware spec page should mention AMD once??? The guy couldn't help so he took it as a comment to escalate higher.

    /ramble. I need crisps.
    Reply
  • StevoLincolnite - Wednesday, November 25, 2020 - link

    Got a secondary AMD rig that is 10+ years old and stays online for weeks at a time without a crash.

    Still runs games just fine, the more modern titles that are heavier threaded tend to run much better on the old Phenom 2 x6 and paired up with the Radeon RX 580 is a pretty capable 1080P rig.
    Will upgrade it when it's useless.
    Reply
  • YB1064 - Wednesday, November 25, 2020 - link

    $900 is a bit too rich for my blood.

    BTW, what happened to the latest RTX 3xxx review? Did you guys give up on it?
    Reply
  • Makaveli - Thursday, November 26, 2020 - link

    Apparently you didn't get the memo. Reply
  • fcth - Friday, November 27, 2020 - link

    No explanation as to the delay (originally it was related to the fires in California, but it sounded like they were past that), but Ryan said a couple days ago that they are still getting caught up: https://twitter.com/RyanSmithAT/status/13317467171... Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Wednesday, November 25, 2020 - link

    ...and Intel's driver support for Intel Nucs is hardly anything to scream about. Reply
  • dontlistentome - Wednesday, November 25, 2020 - link

    Took Intel an age (over a year) to fix the BIOS updater on systems with Bitlocker - would fail to suspend the encryption so you'd be left with a machine that wouldn't boot, with a locked drive. Hope you kept the recovery key somewhere accessible. Reply
  • Samus - Thursday, November 26, 2020 - link

    OMG I remember that bug, the worst part was there was no way to clone a drive to upgrade the SSD because you couldn't suspend bitlocker so you had to decrypt the drive which takes hours in some cases. 3-4 hour project just to upgrade an SSD... Reply
  • Yorgos - Thursday, November 26, 2020 - link

    It took intel 3 or 4 years to fix the N2230 driver on linux. Reply
  • bananaforscale - Thursday, November 26, 2020 - link

    I remember when Atoms first came and the NM10 chipset. It had crap support on Linux (didn't support resolutions beyond 800x600 for a while). Then there's Asus Transformer Book that has Intel hardware that's only supported under 32 bit Windows, so no upgrading to 64 bit (even if it would've been a bit silly in that particular case as it only had 2GB RAM). Linux is right out. Reply

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