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it takes BANDWIDTH from the chipset (inside the apu)
More importantly (to those who design/build it) it ups the TDP. The Kabini/Temash SOC goes down to 3.9 Watts, still with 2x 1.0 GHz cores with the A4-1200 still featuring the same 2/4 USB 2/3 ports. Adding bandwith to the links always adds power draw.
But once you buy the ECS KBN-I + AMD E1-2100 "Kabini" APU and a case and power supply, you're pretty much up in the price range of an Intel NUC.
Maybe, but the NUC is something different. The case is so small you could not even fit a HDD in. The ITX formfactor is just more flexible and has way more USB etc. connectors available. Then for the coming graphics benchmarks I am very curious how the amd hd88210 will compare to the intel hd4000 derived one.
Comparison to NUC is off anyways, if such FF is preferred (which is the case for me), compare it to Zotac's ZBox nano AQ01 (Kabini A4-5000). Zotac where the inventors of the "NUC form factor" anyway, the nano AD10 dates back to 09/2011. First NUC I can find is 11/2012.
In a very good deal, the ECS KBN-I/2100 mini-ITX motherboard that features an AMD E1-2100 dual-core "Kabini" APU can be found for just over $30 USD. How though is the performance of this ultra low-cost motherboard + APU combination when it costs less than a Raspberry Pi? Here are some benchmarks and the Linux impressions.
Suprising nobody complained about the size of the ATX power connector. Something really needs to change here. This system is 9W TDP + 2 x 3W DDR sticks + 4 x 2.5W USB2 + 2 x 4.5W USB3 = 34W. The other stuff on the board might use few watts. Guess what size connector ARM boards with 15-20W TDP use? http://goo.gl/CykFEX
Why does x86 shit use so big power connectors?
Probably because this board could possibly also support 75W TDP PCI express graphics (450W TDP with extra connectors). Who would be that insane? The 25W max GPUs are designed for this sort of systems. That would mean 60W max TDP for the whole system. Well.. at least this doesn't have the extra 4..6 pin ATX power connector. I just complain because the wiring is a mess with all x86 systems, especially these smaller ones.
Another thing that is crap with x86 is the sata connector. It's fragile and doesn't provide power. SSD disks barely consume 2W and spinning drives use 2-5W. it would be easy to extend the connectors to fight the wires.
Well, cause it is still a standard. Other way round people would have screamed over a different PSU and that it is not compatible. But at least there are Pico-PSUs which are quite neat, besides that they still require a wall voltage -> 12 V external PSU brick, and they are already expensive (plus that you need the very external brick).
The problem with current ATX-PSUs is, that these stupid things are hardly sold below a 350 W power level. You can still get these ridiculous PSUs with 1000 W but try to find a 200W one or less. For YEARS my computers have a max. power consumption of about 120-175 W (big box, quad core 3,1 GHz, dedicated GPU) down to something about 10-40 W (E-350, Via C7, Geode LX and so on, okay the Geode has its own PSU). But I am still sitting on these 350 W bricks which was about the lowest I could obtain. At least they still have enough cables for HDDs.
Every once in a while (very rare), there are x86 mITX boards with a power connector like you showed for the ARM boards. Last time I saw one, it only had a PCIe x1 slot for the reasons you told. But that's a niche, most mITX boards come with standard ATX P/S socket ande PEG slot even if it's only conected with four lanes.
There are SSDs that draw more than five watts on heavy write loads btw.