D945GCLF - complete with Intel Atom

Discussion in 'Small Form Factor Systems' started by oDii, May 27, 2008.

  1. __Miguel_

    __Miguel_ Gawd

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    Yes, you're right. After my previous post I stumbled across a review over at Tom's Hardware (here) about the Atom, which sheds a lot of light on that. Thank you for correcting me.

    Interesting thing is, it seems there are actually four chipsets compatible with it, not two:

    1) 945GC+ICH7, for desktop motherboards
    2) 945GSE+ICH7M, for laptops (and the Eee Box), with reduced power needs;
    3) Pulsbo SCH, apparently a 945GSE variant with everything crammed into the northbridge chip, and non-Intel GMA accelerator (not available yet, I think, because of driver issues on the IGP side);
    4) SiS 671+968 (Probably a variant on the D201GLY family, and with a power draw of 8W);
    5) Any chipset, really, if ASRock decides to give Atom a go... :D

    I do think pairing the Atom with anything more power hungry than the SiS 671 chipset (the 945GSE has a lower power draw) is a MAJOR mistake. Pulsbo and 945GSE should be more than enough for just about anything you might want to throw at a system on that price point.

    Granted, though, I'd still like to see something like the 780G+SB700 paired with the Atom (only for Intel, and frankly simplified on features... 45/55nm and UVD are just about what really matters for this one... hehe). Now THAT would be a kick... Full video decoding on the chipset, SATA support (2 ports should be more than enough, so you could actually go smaller on the southbridge), one PATA port and 4 PCI-E lanes (I'm being generous, you'd only need that many if you wanted dual PCI-E NICs, Firewire controller and an expansion slot). Hell, you could probably fit that whole thing into a sub-10W SCH (the 780G is 11W, and you wouldn't need all those capabilities...)

    Cheers.

    Miguel
     
  2. squeezee

    squeezee Limp Gawd

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    Technically the Atom should work with just about any chipset that works with a 533MHz FSB. As for SiS chipset compatability, they might have been considering reusing the same chipset as on the D201GLY boards for their own design initially.

    Right now i believe Intel is only selling the Atom processors+chipsets in a single bundle to manufacturers. They may have agreements signed restricting them from using other chipsets even.

    Also, Your 780G design may not be a dream for long if AMD releases this cpu soon.
     
  3. __Miguel_

    __Miguel_ Gawd

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    Yes, I know. You only need the proper VRMs in place, BIOS support and chipset compatibility with the FSB to be able to pair it with an Atom CPU. That's why there are "weird" combinations available for Core2Duo parts (like the 865G/GZ and 945P/G parts, which officially don't support Core2Duo...).

    With that in mind, the potential chipset base for Atom CPUs ranges from the 865P/G/GZ to the P965/975X, just about any Intel-compatible SiS and VIA chipset (including the new ones, I think), the eXpress 200 and X1250 from ATI, and anything post-socket 478 from NVIDIA. Which really only leaves the x3x and x4x series out of the equation, since 533MHz support was dropped with these chipsets (though I've heard stories of at least the 805 working with P35-based boards...)

    Yes, those were my thoughts exactly. My guess is they'll probably ditch the Celeron 220 on the D201GLY2 board and put an Atom there instead. Nothing else really needs to change on the board. And that would be a no-fan approach to Atom. Man, I'm drooling already (though I'm not really fond of SiS, their chipsets usually suck big time...)

    X2. The Atom + 945GC/GSE/Pulsbo is such a cash cow that they would be nuts to allow third parties to be able to milk it this early on... Probably later we'll see non Intel-based Atom systems, but right now it would be just dumb from Intel, money-wise. Besides, they can't even cope with demand as it is...

    I had read about that CPU. However, though that's an interesting CPU for low-power desktop (or even laptop) PCs, the TDP is still rather high... I mean, Atom+945GSE hovers around 6.5W TDP (not sure about the Southbridge, but my guess is around 2-3W, and Pulsbo is even lower). That AMD CPU has a TDP of 8W, and you still have to factor in the 780G and SB700 power requirements...

    It still seems a great low-power platform, especially because of the added performance of the CPU and IGP, but you'll need a severe revamp of the CPU to 45nm and a simplification of the chipset (maintain sufficient power for UVD decoding with those "extra" requirements - like jaggies handling and such -, include the SB functions on the NB, and drop the power output of the whole package) to get as low as the Atom on the power department. If they do that, though, that combo will kick SERIOUS a**...

    Cheers.

    Miguel
     
  4. Methanoid

    Methanoid n00bie

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    230 and 945GC/ICH7 $29+$20 (4W+25W) $49 29W TDP

    N270 and 945GSE/ICH7-M $44+$36 (2.5W+5.5W) $80 8W TDP

    Pity we don't have Poulbo (US15W) in desktop form as it is low power and supports HD decoding. There is also a planned dual core Atom (code 330 perhaps) due later this year.

    In real world, D945GCLF draws 24W-27W using DC-DC, 1gb and 2.5" HD, compared to Mac Mini 20W-54W on 2ghz C2D. For a green PC you'd have to be looking at the 945GSE/ICH7-M and N270 combo.
     
  5. __Miguel_

    __Miguel_ Gawd

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    X2 The lack of HD decoding is the only thing really wrong about the non-Pulsbo Atom platforms.

    When that happens, dirt cheap (and utterly small) HTPCs will probably start to appear like mushrooms (can you say EeeeHTPC, based off the desktop version?). In the meanwhile, dirt cheap (and utterly small) work PCs might start to appear... The Atom seems like a really good platform for company PCs...

    Though the D945GCLF is very green in the first place, since idle load is only 4W higher than the Mac Mini, and load is half of the Mac... And you can probably shave a few watts of that if you manage to lower voltages on the CPU or especially the Northbridge.

    Btw, anyone knows if SpeedStep is available on Atom CPUs? And if RMClock already can see and control the C6 state and voltages? If so, the only thing missing is the BIOS support for vontage adjustments on the chipset and memory to get a sub-20W desktop version of Atom... hehehe (Yeah, I know, I spend too much time over at SPCR... :eek:)

    Cheers.

    Miguel
     
  6. Methanoid

    Methanoid n00bie

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    Speedstep on the 5xx series ones... the ones that cost 3x as much :(

    I'm actually disappointed that with 945GC the Atom platform is so poor at idle compared to Mac Mini. Actually making me think hard about a Mac Mini as a low power usage box. The sooner Intel sells off its stock of that crappy chipset and rolls out Poulsbo the better!
     
  7. __Miguel_

    __Miguel_ Gawd

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    Bummer. Same thing as the C6 state, right? My mind gets a little boggled when I start hearing about Atom... There are three platforms, as many families, and G~D knows how many SKUs...

    Actually, the 945G northbridge family seems to be here to stay... It has been the "little brother" of Intel chipsets since the launch of the 955X, and especially since the x96x series, where they entered the "value" line.

    The thing is, the 945G/GC/GZ/GM/GSE northbridges are impressively simple when compared to the "bigger" x9xx, x3x and x4x series. Also, although they're built with outdated manufacturing tech, yields on this manufacturing process are through the roof, so it still pays off keeping them just like they are now.

    And a "simple" shrink to 65nm or 45nm (I know, I know, a hop that big is anything BUT a simple die shrink) of the existing desing (that is, without adding different features) would probably be more cost effective than to create a new IGP or video decoder processor to integrate on the die.

    Hmmm, now that I think of it... That seems a VERY good way to go... Simple enough to develop, and independent on the IGP capabilities... Plus, it would be easy to add it to certain chipsets, to make them "HTPC-ready" or just "Office-ready"... I mean you could even have something like this:

    - Qxx series, without video decoder and low speed IGP core (same functionalities to the whole family), for Office applications - you actually need a different chipset for Office applications because of the VPro and TPM implementations on these families;
    - Hx5 series (or whatever you want to call it), with video decoder and higher speeds on the IGP core, for the HTPC market;
    - Hx3 series (again, different name possible), with video decoder, low speeds on the IGP and VERY low TDP, for Atom-like applications;
    - Gx5 series, with video decoder and high speed IGP, for "gaming" :rolleyes: applications.

    Simple, cost effective, very little tweaking needed (you would only need two different chipsets, and do to them the same you do to CPUs: screen them for TDP or speed), and you would be able to keep practically everyone happy...

    Ok, sorry for the OT. But sinde we're talking about the Atom platform, these are just a few thoughts on how it would be better...

    Cheers.

    Miguel
     
  8. __Miguel_

    __Miguel_ Gawd

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    Hmmm, I don't really know if this belongs in this thread, so please do tell me if I'm messing with stuff by doing this post.

    So, you will NOT believe what I've just found out. Please take a look here and tell me THAT is not jaw dropping...














    Ok, now for those who did see the link (or for those who are too cheap to do it :D - kidding, of course... lol), how AWESOME is a mini-ITX (well, sorta... MSI changed one of the measures to 19.5cm, probably for not having to pay royalties to VIA for the form factor...) Atom-based PASSIVE COOLED board?

    I mean, the only thing bad there is the 10/100 NIC (which seems standard in Atom systems). There are even two memory slots (still only 2GB single channel max, but 2x1GB is usually cheaper than 1x2GB, at least here in Portugal).

    The rest is the usual: IDE, 2xSATA, 5.1 sound (ALC888, oddly enough, which is good for a board this small...), full legacy on the back, 4+4 (back/header) USB ports.

    Also, I think the chipset and the CPU are actually swapped... the Atom has a tiny little black 0.5~1cm high cooler, the NB and SB seem to be under a MASSIVE heatsink, probably fitting a 1U case with little to spare...

    Now, quick: prices and availability, PLEASE! Oh, in Portugal, of course... :p

    Cheers.

    Miguel
     
  9. squeezee

    squeezee Limp Gawd

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    If you download the manual you can see that the atom is still at the top, 945GC below and the ICH7 is under the tiny black 'sink.

    With the added length it would have been nice to get a second expansion slot, like in this ECS board. (which looks pretty damn nice)

    Another interesting point is that it uses a nicer Realtek ALC888 codec, i do wish more manufacturers would put SPDIF output on them however. That ECS board has it, and i believe the Gigabyte one will as well.
     
  10. __Miguel_

    __Miguel_ Gawd

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    Yes, that's right. It did make more sense for the components to stay the standard way, though I guess The board could get by with the reversed configuration...

    The only things negative on that massive heatsink approach seems to be the MCH adversely affectig the CPU temps, but that remains to be measured, right?

    Also, those are not standard heatsink holes, so you can't just change them for something more effective...

    Yes, that IS a very interesting board... Much more than the MSI one, actually... The full mini-DTX form factor (ironic an AMD standard fits so well and starts to be non-OEM available first with an Intel-based board, right?) of the ECS board actually allows for a much wider expansion choice (you can have both a video card AND a TV card... Or a "real" sound card... Or a Gigabit NIC and a storage controller... Very cool!

    Now, anyone has links to reviews on both the sound codec and the NIC on that board? Just to check up, not really on track with VIA sound codecs and non-Realtek NICs (except Atheros L1)...

    Well, the market point Intel designed the Atom for doesn't really care for SPDIF... I mean, how many of ultra-low-budget buyers will want to output audio to their digital sound amplifier? Not many, I suppose...

    Those of us who want Atom for OTHER tasks (like small servers or HTPCs), on the other hand, would like gigabit, dual-NIC and SPDIF, so any one of those is welcome (well, actually, I'd also like to have a 4+ SATA port ICHxR-based Atom board, for an ultra-small file server, but that's another story altogether)... :p

    Btw, how hard is it to make an SPDIF output connection? I can't find ANY manufacturer's SPDIF expansion slots available anywhere in Portugal. Also, is the ECS board available already?

    Cheers.

    Miguel
     
  11. squeezee

    squeezee Limp Gawd

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    The mounting distance may be nonstandard but it's easier to mount something else with through-board mounting holes than the hook system that intel uses on their boards.

    True, but like many feature omissions with these boards the functionality is already there, they just have to provide a connector.

    I believe that for coaxial output you don't need anything special, just wire the Signal and ground wires directly to the connector. For Optical output you need the extra +12v or +5v line to drive the chip+LED.

    I haven't seen that board available anywhere as of yet (i haven't seen any non-intel Atom based board available for sale around here yet) but since it has a product page up on the MFRs website, hopefully it will be out sooner rather than later.
     
  12. Methanoid

    Methanoid n00bie

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    THIS is the mobo we want (well almost)

    http://www.ibase.com.tw/ib882.htm

    Z530 Atom - lowest power consumption 1.6ghz Atom
    Intel® SCH US15W chipset - aka Poulsbo - HDTV acceleration onboard
    Two Intel® 82574L Gigabit LAN - ONE would do me but Gb is necessary
    Supports optional CRT VGA via SDVO port - YUK, I want a DVI or HDMi header!
    44-pin header x 1 (IDE1) - I would prefer 40pin or a SATA instead

    All in 3.5 drive sized board

    Now IF they could put a proper video output onboard and make sure it was JUST the size of a 3.5" HDD you could use many NAS or USB HDD boxes for it...

    With HDTV acceleration in Poulsbo you'd have a GREAT small and quiet HTPC.

    With Atom you have a quiet NAS as well.

    Surely I'm not the only one who'd want something like this? EeeBox is 2.5" HDD only which is too expensive, its also NOT HDTV accelerated so not a great HTPC.

    If U want one... well email info@IBASE-usa.com and tell them!!!
     
  13. __Miguel_

    __Miguel_ Gawd

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    Nifty board, indeed. And utterly small, too...

    Unfortunately, that's the only connection you get with the Pulsbo chipset. No SATA is allowed (or even available) with this chipset. Actually, that's pretty much the only downside to the chipset. I wish a more "desktop-friendly" version, with multiple SATA ports, was available. No dice for now, however. We'll have to wait for third-party chipsets supporting Atom (hint to any ASRock employees reading this thread!) for HD decode + SATA on ULP configurations...

    Now THAT would revolutionize the cluster segment... I mean, can you imagine like 40 of these systems (I'm considering 20W for the whole system under load, but that will probably be lower) running from one single redundant PSU, each one only needing 1 1/2 3.5'' bays? (I'm assuming each pair of systems would use a third bay for two 2.5'' drives, and that could even disappear if a single CF or DOM was to be used...

    Man, I'm soooo drooling right now just thinking of it... hehe

    Of course, we would still need something capable of offloading tasks for that many cores (there is a Linux distribution that does exactly that - you share the CPU cores and memory of the connected PCs - but I'd obviously preferr a Windows approach, being the Microsoft addict that I am... hehe), but it seems a very good idea to me.

    Unfortunately, with Pulsbo as the chipset you will be limited to IDE for the system drive, and then USB for the rest of the drives, which is not the best solution...

    For a NAS, Atom + 945GSE (I think that one can still handle at least 4 SATA ports), 945GC or any other low-power, SATA-enabled chipset will be a better option.

    Cheers.

    Miguel
     
  14. BassTek

    BassTek [H]ardness Supreme

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    Despite the hog of a chipset I still think I'm going to order one of these and see how it performs as a router. Once it's setup I plan to disable the video, so hopefully the will cut the power/heat quite a bit and let it run fanless or at the most with a Scythe mini-kaze.
     
  15. __Miguel_

    __Miguel_ Gawd

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    An Atom board should feel right at home being a VERY powerfull router. My guess is, unless you need several VPN connections (and in that case your main concern should be bandwidth, and money and power are not an issue... lol), you should be able to do just about ANYTHING you want with the router, including getting a WSUS server, some sort of download manager, and even an enterprise-level firewall running. I'm assuming less than 10 simultaneous users, btw.

    As for the no video, and someone correct me if I'm wrong, from what I know from working with three 945G-based (and variants) boards, I don't think that particular chipset allows you NOT to have video output enabled, the BIOS defaults to on-board if it can't find something on the PCIe or PCI buses... You CAN, though, severely limit the memory usage of the IGP. The 945G can fo up to 128MB fixed or "per request"; other options are 64MB (fixed/variable), 8MB fixed and up to 64MB/128MB max variable; and 8MB/1MB fixed.

    Some of these options are only available depending on BIOS implementation, so you'll have to check which ones are game. From my experience, Vista (and probably W2K8) pull at least 32MB, but I keep my W2K3 install with 8MB fixed (I don't think 1MB would be a good idea, unless for a DOS-only system...), and 1280x1024 is not a problem (though it usually sits at 1024x768).

    As for a cooler for that chipset, you can always try Zalman (tall, blue one, seems like a peacock) or a little one, all-copper (or so it seems) back at carTFT (I think). Both seem to be able to keep the 945GC cool without a fan.

    Cheers.

    Miguel
     
  16. Methanoid

    Methanoid n00bie

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  17. __Miguel_

    __Miguel_ Gawd

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    I know someone that would be VERY pissed for me almost going over the edge without us being together or thinking about each other, so I'm not telling this one... :eek::eek::eek:

    That is one FRIGGIN' AWESOME board. I dont even know where to begin telling you guys how many things are right with that board...

    The most shocking, though, is that apparently Pulsbo DOES have SATA ports, which makes it basically perfect as a low-end multimedia platform... "UVD-like" capabilities, Atom, ULTRA LOW power consumption, plenty of expansion, etc....

    Very much approved! Something tells me, though, I don't want to see the price tag... hehe

    Btw, how can we use the second PCIe 1x slot? that seems weird... Not to mention the first one makes it absolutely NOT compatible with standard cases (not that would be a problem, though... hehehe)

    Thanks for that link, it's a very interesting finding.

    Cheers.

    Miguel
     
  18. Nanan

    Nanan [H]ard|Gawd

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  19. Yaka

    Yaka Gawd

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    i contacted kontron about the board first person didnt know what i was on about 2nd person said they only sold to companies.

    anyways, im still gonna call them again and bug them:)

    anyone know if the there are any bare lcd panels that work with lvds or dvi ports? im looking to modding these
     
  20. squeezee

    squeezee Limp Gawd

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    Most manufacturers of embedded products don't sell them to consumers nor do they appear in the retail channel often. You could try getting a few boards for 'sample/evaluation' purposes :) (keep in mind this board won't be available until Q4 regardless). If you can find another company that resells the boards that would be the easiest, try contacting a sales partner instead of kontron directly. (eg. http://www.dpie.com/)

    A good portion of 'bare' panels are driven via LVDS (which is why it's on most embedded boards), you'll probally find the most information on messing with panels/lvds on the automotive/car-puter oriented forums amusingly.
     
  21. Yaka

    Yaka Gawd

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    cool thanks for the info.

    also is it possible to get a rechargable Lithium-Ion battery for this ?

    only ask as the the mod i have in mind is sorta like a tablet
     
  22. oDii

    oDii Limp Gawd

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    The same wholesaler that listed my current D945GCLF early is now listing a new entry - the D945GCLF2. The description is as follows:

    Availability is marked at "12 Days", however I would take it with a grain of salt. Exciting, no?

    Interestingly, this differs greatly from what had previously been announced...

    Wikipedia:

    CNet:

     
  23. squeezee

    squeezee Limp Gawd

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    Hmm, looks like some idiot has been updating with the wikipedia entry; The Atom 230 has a 4W TDP and the N270 is 2.5W, both have hyperthreading.

    The 8W TDP entry was originally for the dual-core Diamonville processors, which have been on the roadmap for quite some time now. The targeted release is in Q3, although i was expecting them more in september/october. (The 8W number likely came from some initial numbers saying they have an 4W-8W thermal envelope although that was probally for the 1.6-2.2GHz speeds rather than for dual-core variants)

    Also if you look at the references on the wikipedia page.. you find one about the dual-core atom (claims 12W TDP, which at 1.87GHz is probally right) and Little Falls 2. Translated Link
     
  24. brons2

    brons2 Limp Gawd

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    What will the performance be like on the dual core Atoms?
     
  25. jtg1993

    jtg1993 Gawd

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    Hey did you know that u can undervolt the atom from stock which is pretty high to around 1v doing the pencil mod.
     
  26. Methanoid

    Methanoid n00bie

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    FFS when will they all realise that 945GC is the wrong chipset to pair with Atom.. I mean a chipset with a TDP approx 10X that of the chip.. come on, you're having a laugh boys!!!
     
  27. timme

    timme Gawd

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    I wonder if there will be more models with Gigabit LAN. That would give a lot of possibilities for a small and inexpensive home server :)
     
  28. oDii

    oDii Limp Gawd

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    Well, my G945GCLF2 has arrived!

    First impressions are that it's pretty similar to the standard G945GCLF. Only additions are gigabit ethernet, S-Video and a bigger heatsink for the Atom (which is obvious as it's 2x TDP). The chipset actually has a smaller heatsink, but a much better fan. CPU is the Atom 330, running at 1.6GHz with 2x512kB L2 and, entertainly, still has hyperthreading (4 cores showing in Windows on an Atom!).

    Pictures soon.
     
  29. oDii

    oDii Limp Gawd

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    RIS build is just completing, screenshots and a few benchmarks from within XP coming.
     
  30. oDii

    oDii Limp Gawd

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    General Information:

    [​IMG]

    CPU-Z 1:

    [​IMG]

    CPU-Z 2:

    [​IMG]

    Super-Pi 1 Million:

    [​IMG]

    Looks like aside from the addition of the extra core there hasn't been much done to the architecture, based on the essentially identical result above.
     
  31. __Miguel_

    __Miguel_ Gawd

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    o_O

    I didn't know the D945GCLF2 was out already! Nice!

    Now, you just answered my prayers... Gigabit Ethernet is just what I needed for my über-small NAS... :D I was getting nowhere with the 10/100 NIC of the D945GCLF...

    So, how much was it? I gave €53 for the D945GCLF, can you give me an estimate (or actual price difference between the two versions)?.

    Also, can anyone tell me why I don't have S3 support either on Windows 2008 or Windows 2003? I didn't try XP yet, but I don't even have access to the Suspend option (also Hibernation, in W2K8)... What gives? Did I get a dud?

    Oh, btw, a funny thing happened to me: first up, the IDE cable that came bundled with the board had a section missing from one of the threads :)confused:). My new 160GB PATA Maxtor HDD and my LG DVD-RW drive were recognized fine, though. The odd thing was, even with another IDE cable, the motherboard was misbehaving when I plugged the HDD in. I had to update the BIOS (hard stuff to do when you don't have blank CDs or an HDD around... lol) just to get the disk to work... :confused: Go figure...

    Cheers.

    Miguel
     
  32. brons2

    brons2 Limp Gawd

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    That is neat! Although I have a working mini-ITX board that is fine for now, I am pretty interested in the Atom.

    Really though I would like a chipset that does not require a fan. I guess it will require a chipset die shrink.
     
  33. __Miguel_

    __Miguel_ Gawd

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    A complete chipset redesign would be more like it...

    I mean, we can't really expect any Intel chipset to behave like the 780G, with über-low power figures (sub-1W idle, sub-11W at full blast), mostly because until Nehalem hits the shelves (and for some time after that, it still will be the norm), the memory controller (big power hog) still sits on the NB, which tipically has lousy cooling solutions when compared to the CPU socket.

    However, as I've already said, the 945G/GC/GZ chipset is so utterly wrong for Atom it hurts just to think about it... Just bear with me on this one, ok?

    1) Insane TDP: the NB has a 22W TDP, built on a 90nm process node; the SB burns your fingers just by sitting idle (130nm process node);
    2) Too many features for the intended audience: dual channel memory is a moot point if you only allow one DIMM slot on Atom motherboards (also, DC is of questionable use with that CPU speeds and FSB to begin with...), but the transistors still draw power; same thing for the 16 PCIe lanes of the NB (and the 4 of the SB), since apparently only PCI expansion slots and NIC are allowed; over-powered IGP for basic tasks (I mean, are you REALLY expecting to drive a FullHD - or bigger - screen with an Atom-based board?); too many expansion capabilities (like the extra SATA controller on the ICH7, which drives the two extra - unused - SATA ports);
    3) Too underpowered to be of any use on video playback. An UVD decoder would be nice (since 720p is kind of a stretch right now), but Atom doesn't really seem to be able to go FullHD, no matter how good of an UVD you throw at it.

    If Intel wants something good to pair up with Atom, 945G-based chipsets have to go. Fast. Best option would be something from the ground up, consisting of:

    1) SCH (like Pulsbo on steroids), with IGP, MCH and IOCH on the same package;
    2) 45nm process node (PLEASE! How wrong can you go by pairing up a 4W CPU with a NB almost 6 times that TDP, and adding to that keeping a 130nm SB?);
    3) Simplified features: either 16+2 PCIe 2.0 lanes (for a PEG slot and two extra links, like a Gigabit NIC) or cut the PCIe altogether; also, don't keep the PCI bus if it's not needed anymore;
    4) Single Channel memory, 2GB max (the 945G/GC has a 4GB limit in reality, which again costs transistors...);
    5) Slower IGP for 2D acceleration (ok, just enough for Aero, but even the 945GSE can handle that...): it's not like you'll ever need that much power... Gaming much on an Atom? hehehe
    6) An UVD for HD decode, and keep power usage in check (UVDs are more power efficient, period);
    7) Less SATA ports (two are more than enough, though please make them NOT share bandwidth, like ICH7 does...).

    So basically I'm actually talking about a grown-up Pulsbo, with more USB and SATA ports, and with actual expansion capabilities (there is no PCIe expansion, also not PCI, if I recall correctly).

    Cheers.

    Miguel


    P.S.: Btw, how come desktop versions of Intel CPUs and chipsets don't get the same power features as mobile parts? C6 for desktop Atoms would be sweet!
     
  34. colinstu

    colinstu 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,571
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    Oct 11, 2007
    @ Miguel

    Copy paste from wikipedia - and exactly what I was hoping from Intel. Just squish the NB and SB onto the CPU, shrink it to 45/32nm, throw in a couple extra features and call it a day.
     
  35. __Miguel_

    __Miguel_ Gawd

    Messages:
    536
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    Oct 18, 2007
    Heh, someone should hire me as an idea brewer, or something...

    Seriously, I was thinking about that thing even before I read about it... Dind't get quite that far as the SoC approach, but only I didn't think Intel would be going that way this early. Also, SoC solutions are more suited to mobile applications, and I was thinking more on the lines of desktop, which can actually cope with a two-chip design, with some extra features.

    Though, the SoC approach is great, especially if they use a single high-bandwidth interconnect (instead of a memory<>NB<>CPU and NB<>SB solution, like most single packages have done until now - think NVIDIA and the 6150+405 single chipset). Just use a multipoint QPI interconnect or a dual ring architecture (like token ring on super steroids, for those who remember Token Ring... lol) to connect the whole thing, with probably a single dedicated memory<>NB link, to keep latencies lower on that side. Latencies and bandwidth would most likely appreciate that move, right now there can be as many as three to four hops from data from a point getting somewhere else. Every little bit helps.

    Thanks for the link.

    Now, can anyone PLEASE talk to me about the S3 issue I raised a couple of posts ago?

    Cheers.

    Miguel
     
  36. oDii

    oDii Limp Gawd

    Messages:
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    Apr 18, 2006
    This was around NZD$20 more than the D945GCLF, so that's what, a few cents in euroland?

    Must admit that I don't use any of the boards I have with Windows aside from preliminary testing, so don't use the functionality. I did have issues with ACPI on the D201GLYA2, but the D945GCLF and D945GCLF2 seem to have pretty solid ACPI implementations, being based on Intel chipsets opposed to SiS.

    I was really impressed with the fan compared to the D945GCLF - Intel seems to have spent more than 0.01cents on it and gotten something that doesn't rattle like a blender and has a pretty smooth noise signature. I just connected it to the CPU fan header, which benefits from fan control, so it's barely heard. With it disconnected, things got a big too hot for my liking, however that was on an open test bench with little airflow so it may be better in a situation where there is a PSU fan right above it.
     
  37. __Miguel_

    __Miguel_ Gawd

    Messages:
    536
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    Oct 18, 2007
    According to Google, that's about €9.5 more than the regular version. Not bad for double the CPU cores, S-Video Out (I didn't know the 945GC chip was capable of that) and a Gigabit NIC (which itself costs around €15 as an add-on card, not to mention that will kill the expansion capabilities on the LF1...).

    If you can spare a few moments to run W2K3 and/or XP, just to check that out, I'd appreciate it. I really need to know if I got a dud... Thanks!

    That is music to my ears... I think I have NEVER heard a 4cm fan so loud as the one on the D945GCLF. Only thing worse is the PSU fan (which, at 12cm, should supposedly be "silent"...:rolleyes:). I REALLY have to get me a ~250W PSU to hack around, and change the NB cooler...

    Cheers.

    Miguel
     
  38. pimlottc

    pimlottc n00bie

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Thanks for the info, oDii. I wonder if you could re-try the h.264 test on this new board, I am interested to see if the second core is enough to let it play full resolution 1080p content.
     
  39. oDii

    oDii Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    170
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    Apr 18, 2006
    Just tested with The Dark Knight trailer 3 1080p again with FFDShow r1739 (as included in the latest version of CCCP) and it still jutters a lot. This really reinforces that like SuperPI, single threaded applications will be no faster with the dual core Atom as there have been no changes to the architecture itself.
     
  40. __Miguel_

    __Miguel_ Gawd

    Messages:
    536
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    Oct 18, 2007
    I don't even know if 1080p decoding can be threaded. Most likely it's rather hard or impossible to do it, and that's why ATI chose to implement the UVD decoder...

    Which sucks big time... :( But it should be expected, at the same time... I mean, Intel didn't create Atom to be an HTPC CPU...

    Oh, btw, are you using Windows? Can you check if you have S3 (Suspend) support? Just to check if my board is OK, since I don't have it with W2K3 and W2K8.

    Thanks!

    Cheers.

    Miguel