ECS Shows Atom Mobo With PCI-e x16 Slot

We know all too well what we get when we pair an Intel Atom CPU with subpar integrated graphics – basically what we have on the majority of netbooks and nettops today – a modest system that’s able to perform light desktop duties but nothing multimedia-heavy.

Nvidia’s also shown us what’s possible when you add some GPU muscle, as we’ve seen with the Ion, which allows Atom-based systems to join into 3D gaming and 1080p video playback.

While we’re seeing Nvidia Ion-based motherboards at Computex, Elitegroup has on display something a little more interesting for those looking to add more than just a GeForce 9400M to their Atoms.

On Hexus are pictures of the ECS 945GCD-M, which as the name suggests, runs on the Intel G945CG + ICH7 with an integrated dual-core Atom N330. It’s all pretty plain until you spy the PCIe x16 slot ready for your GPU upgrading pleasure, giving it graphical possibilities beyond the Nvidia Ion.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • tixarn1
    Even if you did put a sick graphics card in, surely the Atom would be a huge bottleneck?
  • Can this board take advantage of the GPU like the ION chipset does? Sure the graphics are better, but ION is great because things like HD video decoding are actually accelerated by the GPU. Will this board be able to do the same thing? Or will it rely on the CPU for things like HD video decoding?
  • dingumf
    tixarn1Even if you did put a sick graphics card in, surely the Atom would be a huge bottleneck?
    Exactly. This is just stupid.
  • Gin Fushicho
    You could always add a cheap 8600GT and be done with it , you could watch whatever you wanted then. but then again... the atom processor might go up in speeds so then you would no longer have a bottle neck.
  • ceteras
    dingumfExactly. This is just stupid.A sick graphics card? No, just a decent one is needed.

    This is not designed to run games in high-res.
    I'd love to have one such board, for HTPC. The ION is not doing so great in HD, and with this board you've got your options for a GPU accelerated HD playback.
  • ceteras
    On a second thought, perhaps there are better options, such as this one:

    And another thing, other sites say that this board uses a single-core Atom, go google it.
  • gwolfman
    You could also use the two pcie slots for RAID controllers and make that a really decent NAS. :)
  • xyzionz
    kinda good for fanless built..even with a passive cooled decent graphic card
  • montanabay
    Is the Atom socket upgradeable when next gen comes out? seems like it is always "fused" in below a heat sink...
  • apache_lives
    haha i want to see this with a GTX295!