Joined: May 2006
||Posted: May 29 2006,10:41
|...VIA's power-miserly approach has continued with the Eden and the latest C7 processors. The Eden is designed with a thermal envelope of just 7.5 watts — which only Intel's limited edition Ultra Low Voltage processors can match. By comparison, both the Pentium M and the Turion 64 are designed with a thermal envelope of around 30 watts.|
VIA processors are most commonly embedded in a Mini-ITX motherboard. VIA's own series is called EPIA, but other manufacturers also make VIA-processor embedded M-ITX motherboards. SPCR has looked at several EPIA boards in the past. Both SPCR and EPIA have evolved considerably since the last review in 2003, so it's time to take another look. VIA was kind enough to supply a sample of the EPIA EN12000E, a fully passive board featuring a VIA Eden processor clocked at 1.2 GHz.
If low noise and power efficiency are your primary requirements and you're willing to sacrifice a little performance, VIA's EPIA EN12000E can fit the bill quite nicely. Although you're almost certain to notice some difference in speed, I was shocked at how little functionality was lost by the much slower processor....
Best of all, the EPIA can be run in a completely fanless system without overheating....
It also cannot handle HD video properly — at least not when it is encoded in Windows Media format....
The system also seemed a little unstable at times, as the frequent system freezes with Photoshop will attest. The odd behavior when switching display types was also a little disconcerting....
It would do well as a low-end HTPC or as a browser portal. However, for a general purpose PC where the performance requirements are unpredictable, the EPIA is almost certain to run into the occasional task where a little more oomph would be appreciated.