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ASUS x551m – Atom or Celeron?

Nov 15, 2015   //   by wvanbusk   //   Technology  //  Comments Off on ASUS x551m – Atom or Celeron?

Before we got the nice Christmas cash, I was looking at ultra low cost laptops at office depot for $300 in December that use the intel bay trail line of processors with integrated video.  Playing with the demo did not seem all that different from the D630 laptops we had at the time. But these new systems were very lightweight and quiet even when streaming video. I was intrigued. I saw a craigslist ad for one in the spring of 2015 and snapped it up thinking it would be a good web server for home or church.

asus adasus x551ma

The Bay Trail family of processors span Atom to Pentium, with Celeron in the middle. It’s a new Intel design called Silvermont with out of order execution tri-gates on 22nm silicon targeted as a system on a chip for smaller low power computing devices, such as tablets and netbooks in the mobile arena (Bay Trail M). Both the processor and graphics unit have independent turbo boosting speeds for wide dynamic power range. All the new technology mentioned here is aimed at better performance and lower power at the same time. This seems like the ideal characteristics for a home server that basically sleeps most of the time, but may be called upon to transfer large backup files or stream a video on demand. There are Bay Trail Pentium processors for servers, according to Intel, with only slightly higher specs than the Celeron.

x551m inside  x551m charger

One notable observation for the x551 is the small size of the power adapter, which is 33 watts, class V and similar in size to a USB phone charger. Inside, the motherboard does not need much real estate or added componentry due to much of the work being accomplished by the system on a chip, in this case a Celeron N2815. There are two SATA ports, one each for the hdd and a dvd-rom.  Each processor core is designed to consume 1 watt and use predictive branching and reduced cycles rather than multithreading to increase performance and looser memory management and a dynamic speed memory interconnect to save power. This chip is made to power a system designed to use around 7 watts. There has been some grumbling that ARM will spell trouble for Intel in the mobile arena, but his design may provide some competition.