Home Theater PCs have been all the rage in recent years. As people turn more and more to internet-based services like Hulu and NetFlix to get their entertainment, the demand for devices that can handle all that media and stream it to your TV has shot up dramatically. While many pre-built set-top boxes exist to fill this niche, they often leave much to be desired. Limited format support, limited storage space, limited choice of media services; too many of these boxes leave you wanting more. Also, none of these boxes allow for gaming, beyond trivial games like Peggle or Bejeweled.
This is where the DIY home theater PC comes into play. You choose how it looks, you choose what goes inside, and you set it up to do just what you want, and nothing you don’t. Building a HTPC on the cheap is fairly simple, but it needs a good CPU to do all the things you want it to do. Enter AMD’s Athlon II X2 line, a series of cheap, low-power-draw CPUs that are aimed squarely at the budget PC and HTPC market. Today we’ll be looking at the Athlon II X2 240e, one of AMD’s most economical offerings in the Athlon II line.
|Model Number & Core Frequency||X2 240e / 2.8GHz|
|L1 Cache Sizes||64K of L1 instruction and 64K of L1 data cache per core (256KB total L1 per processor)|
|L2 Cache Sizes||1MB of L2 data cache per core (2MB total L2 per processor)|
|Memory Controller Type||Integrated 128-bit wide memory controller *|
|Memory Controller Speed||2.0GHz with Dual Dynamic Power Management|
|Types of Memory Supported||Support for unregistered DIMMs up to PC2-8500 (DDR2-1066MHz) -AND- PC3-8500 (DDR3-1066MHz)|
|HyperTransport 3.0 Specification||One 16-bit/16-bit link @ up to 4.0GHz full duplex (2.0GHz x2)|
|Total Processor-to-System Bandwidth||Up to 33.1GB/s bandwidth [Up to 17.1 GB/s total bandwidth (DDR2 or DDR3-1066) + 16.0GB/s (HT3)]|
|Packaging||Socket AM3 938-pin organic micro pin grid array (micro-PGA)|
|Fab location||GLOBALFOUNDRIES Fab 1 Module 1|
|Process Technology||45-nanometer DSL SOI (silicon-on-insulator) technology|
|Approximate Die Size||117.5 mm2|
|Approximate Transistor count||~ 234 million|
|Max Temp||72 degrees Celsius|
|Nominal Voltage||.775 – 1.35V|
|Max TDP||45 Watts|
*Note: configurable for dual 64-bit channels for simultaneous read/writes
The specifications here are mostly what you’d expect, though of particular note is the maximum TDP, or Thermal Dispersion Profile. This CPU is meant to draw 45 watts at most, which puts it 20 watts below the Core 2 line of processors in power draw.