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Jetway NC92 Atom IPC Motherboard

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  • Jetway NC92 Atom IPC Motherboard

    Phoronix: Jetway NC92 Atom IPC Motherboard

    If you have wanted to get your hands on an Intel Atom system but aren't interested in the netbooks that are out there, it's now relatively easy to find compatible motherboards out there to build your own Intel Atom system. Some of these motherboards even come with an Atom CPU already installed. In this article we have our hands on the Jetway NC92-230-LF, which is a mini ITX motherboard that is pre-installed with an Intel Atom N230 and offers one PCI slot, one DDR2 slot, Gigabit Ethernet, and 6-channel audio.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=13275

  • #2
    Nettop? Why not call it what it is? a Terminal.

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    • #3
      I'd be interested to see game benchmarks on these machines, and also have all the bench results them side-by-side with something like a Sempron or a Celeron at 1.2 or 1.6Ghz.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Milyardo View Post
        Nettop? Why not call it what it is? a Terminal.
        Terminals generally can't do email, browsing, office tools, and the like.

        I'd be interested to see game benchmarks on these machines, and also have all the bench results them side-by-side with something like a Sempron or a Celeron at 1.2 or 1.6Ghz.
        Well the neatest things to use these devices for would be a network server. A mythtv backend, email procmail server, file server, backup server, wireless bridge, GSM/3G gateway, uPnP media server, VoIP server, etc etc.

        These things can be 'always on' and use a fraction of the electricity that a normal home 'old desktop turned server' system that is typically used by computer-savvy folks. Just get a cheap mini-itx 'minitower' box, through in a couple 1.5TB drives in mirror mode and you have yourself a very nice system for very cheap.

        And for people living in apartments or are especially noise sensitive then these things would be dead quite.

        A 1.6ghz or so Atom machine would be comparible to about a 800-1Ghz Celeron-m system. Atom uses a simplified core to reduce costs, size, and increase energy efficiency so it lacks much of the optimized peices that you get from a P4 or P-M style processor.

        In terms of graphics and that these sort of boards don't use a Atom-optmized chipset.. they just use regular desktop/laptop parts. Intel 945G, typically. Normally well supported by Linux, but not a performance or especially energy frugal part.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by drag View Post
          And for people living in apartments or are especially noise sensitive then these things would be dead quite.
          Those little fans on those mb's are anything but quite. 6000 rpm whine.

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          • #6
            Well you just get rid of them.

            the fan is only used for the northbridge anyways. The CPU has the small fanless heatsink. So don't stuff them into a insulated airless shoebox and you'll probably be fine. I haven't looked at the heatsink up close, but I expect it's one of those nasty thermal pads and it would be easy to replace the thing with a thermal-epoxy'd-on old P4 heatsink or whatever and leave it fanless.

            (That should indicate the relative power usage of the desktop bits vs the actual embedded processor.)


            By the way the Intel D945GCLF2 board is slightly cheaper then the Jetway and comes with a _dual_core_ 1.6ghz processor. That's for less then a hundred. For around 70bucks you can get the original single core version.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by drag View Post
              A 1.6ghz or so Atom machine would be comparible to about a 800-1Ghz Celeron-m system. Atom uses a simplified core to reduce costs, size, and increase energy efficiency so it lacks much of the optimized peices that you get from a P4 or P-M style processor.

              In terms of graphics and that these sort of boards don't use a Atom-optmized chipset.. they just use regular desktop/laptop parts. Intel 945G, typically. Normally well supported by Linux, but not a performance or especially energy frugal part.
              Considering I could run most of the games in the -games benchmarks (the free ones at least) on a P-II 300Mhz and a graphic card that was more than 10 years old, and still have more fun than a lot of recent commercial games, I'd still be interested to see some benchmarks. They would give us a good idea of what to expect on netbooks, and make for good comparison when the ones with 9400M+Atom ship, which should be soon.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by drag View Post
                Well you just get rid of them.

                the fan is only used for the northbridge anyways
                Which just goes to show that the Atom platform really truly is hamstrung by its dependence on the old 945 chipset. Intel's new low-power Atom-friendly chipset should be out sometime next year, and then this platform as a whole will truly shine.

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                • #9
                  Which just goes to show that the Atom platform really truly is hamstrung by its dependence on the old 945 chipset. Intel's new low-power Atom-friendly chipset should be out sometime next year, and then this platform as a whole will truly shine.
                  For some applications, definately. Although I am more excited about ARM stuff like the Cortex-A8 and things like BeagleBoard or the Pandora handheld gaming machine.

                  If the Intel X drivers had much better video acceleration support then it would greatly expand the usefulness of these things with th 945g board.

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                  • #10
                    I'd love to see a comparison between this system and the VIA C7 systems Jetway also sells. Do VIA Nano systems exist on the market yet? If so, throw one of those on there, too.

                    I'd like to see how the three stack up as far as performance per watt, performace per dollar, and/or watt per dollar.

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                    • #11
                      Well here are some benchmarks on Nano vs Atom for Windows XP:
                      http://arstechnica.com/reviews/hardw...o-review.ars/1

                      I think the graphics situation for Linux would be quite a bit different, since I never was impressed by the quality of Via's drivers. However you can do XvMC with Via systems, I think, so media performance in Linux would be better, but not close to what it is in XP. Just speculating.

                      Also I think the Atom's dual core version would be a big advantage. Even if not in raw processing power, but certainly in multitasking and responsiveness.

                      So the Nano is a bit faster and uses less energy. At least in XP.

                      The Atom boards used here and those benchmarks are obviously very optimized for price. The killer feature for these Atom + 945G mini-itx boards is that the comparable Via system is as much as 2-3x more expensive.

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                      • #12
                        I have a DG945GCLF2. I'm using it to replace the outrageously old & loud dual athlon mpx system I had been using basically as an xterm (real work gets done on a dual quad 64bit).

                        I thought it might be interesting to be able to do some testing on the atom which may likely be the base core used in the intel parallel video co processor used next year. That and it's cheap.

                        I paired it up with a pci 2400pro, replaced the north bridge fan with a double thick 40mm kaze fan (can't hear it) and stuck it in an Apex MI-100 case with a 120mm fan "mod". I have it hooked up to a 24" 1920x1200 screen (needed the digital out on the pci card).

                        It's an okay system, not great. Comparable with the old MPX, except this one is fully 64bit (no more 32 bit machines running in the office, yeah!).

                        The key to getting this board to run stable is to turn off automatc fan control. Apparently errors in intel's bios code for the fan control.

                        For some reason frequency scaling isn't working at all, the cpu is locked at 1.6GHz currently.

                        I can run tests if anyone likes.

                        Btw here's some numbers (important to me at least).

                        Compilation of our c++ math library (29 files), 64bit, gcc 4.3.2-r1

                        - clovertown 1.6 x8: -j9

                        real 0m9.713s
                        user 0m32.600s
                        sys 0m2.840s

                        - athlon 4200x2: -j3

                        real 0m16.389s
                        user 0m29.626s
                        sys 0m2.380s

                        - D945GCLF2: -j5

                        real 0m38.110s
                        user 2m17.471s
                        sys 0m6.770s

                        In comparison the athlonmp 2200+ x2 -j3 ~0m30s, but that's compiling 32bit code

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by drag View Post
                          Terminals generally can't do email, browsing, office tools, and the like.
                          Email - http://www.washington.edu/pine/
                          Browsing - http://lynx.isc.org/
                          Office Tools - http://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/
                          the like - http://www.gnu.org/software/screen/

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                          • #14
                            Atom for desktop is a joke. If you really need to compile the cheapest 45 nm dual core from any brand will be much better suited together with a recent board with onboard vga. The very old chipset Intel 945 uses much more power than the CPU itself. The CPU does not have got any powersaveing features but the newer ones always do - in idle mode you will much and you don't have got enough speed to playback hd media without help of a GPU.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Kano View Post
                              Atom for desktop is a joke. If you really need to compile the cheapest 45 nm dual core from any brand will be much better suited together with a recent board with onboard vga. The very old chipset Intel 945 uses much more power than the CPU itself. The CPU does not have got any powersaveing features but the newer ones always do - in idle mode you will much and you don't have got enough speed to playback hd media without help of a GPU.
                              Well, considering I have a dual quad harpertown setup with 16GB of ram for day to day working I suspect I have what I need for normal compiling.

                              HD media is absolutely not a a priority for me, and not for most people in general.

                              My acer aspire one does a fine job of playing xvid/divx/h264 encoding and plays hulu smoothly enough to be tolerable. That and my wife has begun to take that over. The atom on the aspire one is comparable if not slightly faster than the 1.2 P3 tulatain (?) that's on her old laptop.

                              I will agree with you about some things. Intel crippled this board entirely, and they did it on purpose to not cannibalize their higher profit market. I personally got this board because the "company" needs to be broke by end of year and this seemed like a good "play" purchase and definitely a VERY GOOD cpu to throw into the mix for testing software.

                              Just making these following tweaks would make this board able to handle about 90% of people's needs in order of importance.

                              - 950 chipset instead of 945 with DVI-D or HDMI out.
                              - PCIe x16 instead of PCI
                              - Dual channel memory instead of single channel.
                              Last edited by bnolsen; 12-31-2008, 01:06 PM.

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