Logic Supply LGX AG150 Fanless System Review: Cedar Trail or Cedar Trial?by Dustin Sklavos on May 28, 2012 11:30 PM EST
- Posted in
- Cedar Trail
Introducing the Logic Supply LGX AG150
Every so often we have a vendor come to us with a unique product, something that may or may not have an immediately evident purpose, or may not be suited strictly to end consumers. Such is the case with the LGX AG150 system we received for review from Logic Supply, a totally enclosed and fanless system geared almost exclusively for commercial and industrial applications. The LGX AG150 is also our first serious hands on experience with Intel's Cedar Trail Atom refresh.
This system is for all intents and purposes a fairly complete PC capable of running Windows 7, featuring both wireless and wired connectivity, an HDMI port that supports 1080p video, and even high current USB ports...all in a sleek aluminum casing. Logic Supply has given us an opportunity to review two products together: the Cedar Trail-based dual core Atom N2800, and the LGX AG150 system itself. One of these has a future, but the other seems to be stuck squarely in the past.
While you could reasonably argue that the netbook bubble has essentially popped with casual content consumption being handled more ably by tablets, while ultrabooks and ultraportables become both more prevalent and less expensive for actual computing needs (to say nothing of AMD's very capable Zacate platform), Atom still fundamentally has a future. Medfield proved Intel was both serious about breaking into the smartphone market and capable of doing so, as we observed in our review of the Lava Xolo X900. There are other applications for relatively higher wattage Atom parts, though, and the fanless Logic Supply LGX AG150 handily demonstrates that.
Just so we're absolutely clear before we move on, though, the LGX AG150 is not intended for the end consumer. A system like this is designed for industrial applications as well as commercial applications, like powering kiosks. It's for situations where an x86 platform is needed, but power consumption and heat have to be kept to a minimum. Specialized? Certainly, but let's see what it offers for the target market.
|Logic Supply LGX AG150 Specifications|
|Chassis||Logic Supply Custom|
Intel Atom N2800
(2x1.86GHz + HTT, 32nm, 1MB L2, 6.5W)
|Motherboard||Intel DN2800MT with NM10 Chipset|
|Memory||2x2GB Samsung DDR3-1333|
|Graphics||Intel GMA 3650 (640MHz, based on PowerVR SGX 545)|
|Hard Drive(s)||Intel 320 40GB SATA 3Gbps SSD|
|Power Supply||Seasonic 60W External PSU|
Intel 82574L Gigabit Ethernet
Intel Centrino 6230-N 802.11a/b/g/n
Speaker and mic/line-in jacks
2x USB 2.0
4x USB 2.0 (2x High Current)
Speaker and mic/line-in jacks
|Operating System||Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit SP1|
Completely fanless operation
Starting at $434
Price as configured: $678
Anand has already done a fairly detailed breakdown of the new Cedar Trail Atom N2800 (and corresponding Cedarview platform) here. Despite being the third generation of Atom processor from Intel, performance per core and per clock has essentially stood still since the very first Atom was introduced, and it continues to do so. Other than the single-core and dual-core models, Atom is about making a very small, inexpensive, low power x86 chip. The 32nm shrink that the N2800 represents is all about reducing power consumption further still, which is how we can get two x86-based cores with a combined TDP of just 6.5 watts.
While there are no real performance improvements under the CPU's hood, the GPU has been essentially gutted and replaced. Gone is the GMA 950-based GMA 3150 that "powered" the last generation of Atom graphics, replaced instead with an SGX 545 core licensed from PowerVR under the heading "GMA 3650". DirectX support remains at 9.0, but the GPU has been clocked all the way up to 640MHz and theoretically H.264 can now be decoded in hardware.
Unfortunately, there's a rub. The rumor mill was running rampant around the beginning of the new year that Intel was having problems getting the GMA 3650 working properly in Windows. Indeed, current drivers only support 32-bit Windows despite the N2800 itself being able to handle 64-bit. That's not a tremendous loss since Atom was never more than barely adequate in the first place, but with that said, there's apparently more than a grain of truth to those rumors.
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hobbesmaster - Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - linkI'm assuming he meant POS as "Point of sale" instead of "piece of s***" The two often go hand in hand, but the issues are usually software!
A lot of those systems are moving to USB though from what I understand. Regardless, this should handle an XGA touch screen fine which is probably all its intended to do.
They also list this under automotive, that wouldn't be a bad application either. You'd have a WVGA screen at max there.
beginner99 - Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - linkEven though its obviously intels lack of creating useful drivers once more as the producer of a system requiring such a driver i would not buy it if it doesn't work...so Logic IMHO is to blame too at least partially. But it seem to be the trend to release "faulty" products anyway.
khimera2000 - Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - linkThis review has some nice information, but it leaves so many questions that should not of cropped up. How does it perform against the last generation on both sides? how does it compare to the current generation from its competitor?
The last time I checked it was the E-series that AMD marked as there "power efficient line" why is this being compared to an A6? Why was it not compared to an E-450, or at least a E-350? at least these two would be in the same area, and so would be perfect for comparison against an Atom N2800.
Without a point of comparison against other power efficient parts I look at the Data as a wash of useless. there's nothing in there that's relevant if its not seeing how it does against its competition.... and at least in my head that's the E-350, E-450, and VIA's cluster off product offerings.
I don't care who comes out on top, I just want to know how heavy the trade off is at this level of power draw, I want to know if bad drivers can result in a system that has to push hotter then its competiters, I would like to see how far these chips have advanced... also a brief rundown on each companies secret sauce would be a nice touch... refreshers always help :)
Spunjji - Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - linkLooks like you beat me to it! ;)
I'm guessing the usual caveat of testing the systems they had to hand applies here, but you're right, the comparative data isn't of much use.
Credit where it's due though; this information does at least tell us that Atom is somehow more useless than ever on the desktop.
JarredWalton - Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - linkBingo! Unfortunately, most of what we have on hand is limited, and I'm pretty sure none of us are interested in buying our own low-end Atom nettops. It's partly a problem of simply not getting enough of these types of systems for review, and when we do get systems they're often sent to different reviewers. Anand has played with a nettop at some point, so have I, and so has Ganesh. Most of those were a year ago or more, though, and so there's not a lot of overlap in the performance results.
UrQuan3 - Monday, June 4, 2012 - linkWish we could arm-twist LogicSupply a bit for the other review units since they seem to stock AMD E-series and Via Nano systems as well as Atoms.
Spunjji - Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - linkFor the curious:
Pretty much what I'd imagined - Intel win for power consumption and thermals, AMD win for just about everything else. That 28nm shrink of Brazos needs to come sooner.
randinspace - Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - linkI think at least part of the answer to your question lies in the fact that Logic Supply themselves seems strangely (tragically? misguidedly?) married to the Atom if Brazos' presence in only one of their fanless systems is any indication.
Spunjji - Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - linkA comparison to / mention of Brazos would have been nice, what with it being the prime competitor in this market! I'd really like to know how Intel's update changes the performance stakes, as Brazos was never that far ahead on the CPU side to begin with. I understand that you may not have had a system to hand but some passing comment would be lovely.
silverblue - Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - linkBrazos is a fine competitor, however it'd be an unfair comparison as you mentioned above because of its higher power consumption and temperatures. Brazos-T is on the way which should improve on that.
Ironically for AMD, Brazos is much faster at single threaded workloads than Atom; it's only when Atom's HT is leveraged that the two get much closer.