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ITX Motherboard, Continued

Atom Benchmarked: 4W Of Performance
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Memory

Unlike the Atom Notebook solution, the 945 desktop chip set is fitted with a dual channel memory interface. Not every manufacturer of Atom boards implements both slots, though. The DDR2 memory speed is limited to DDR2-400 and DDR2-533, but technically the 945GC chip set is capable of DDR2-667. In our tests we selected timings of CL 3.0-3-3-8 due to the lower clock speed.

The dual interface has a measurable speed advantage, but not one large enough that the user is likely to notice in actual use.

The dual interface’s other benefit is that two memory modules can be used, which can save you some money, since for a given memory size, two modules are cheaper than one. According to the Intel specification, the 945GC chip set is only capable of handling a maximum of 2 GB main memory, but we had no trouble starting the board with 3 GB.

Audio

The VIA sound chip supports 5.1 audio. The board has no digital output at the I/O plate, which means that a separate adapter must be purchased.

PCI Express

The inclusion of a PCI Express port means that the board layout is about 1” (3 cm) longer.

SATA 3 Gb/s and IDE

Accessories

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