Does Intel's Dual-Core Atom Improve Efficiency?

Platform: Jetway NC92-330-LF

Most of the big motherboard companies offer Atom-based solutions. Since Atom processors aren’t available separately—they must be soldered onto a motherboard—all products are typically ultra-compact, highly integrated motherboards. We used the NC92-330-LF, a mini-ITX motherboard that we received from Jetway. The 170x170 mm solution is small enough to fit into smallest enclosures for kiosk systems or nettop PCs, and it actually supports all of the features that are required on modern PC systems.

The 945GC chipset offers integrated GMA950 graphics, utilizing an old fashioned D-SUB15 connector. Jetway had to be conservative with interfaces, as the mini-ITX layout does not allow full implementation of all chipset features: there are only two (of a possible six) Serial ATA/300 ports, and only a single DDR2 memory socket for up to 2 GB of RAM. No other connectivity options for expansion cards exist, except one 32-bit PCI 2.3 slot. Jetway did add headers to utilize a second serial COM port and a parallel port, and there are floppy and UltraATA/100 ports available as well.

One serial port is already available at the back panel—many industrial applications still require these. We also found PS/2 keyboard and mouse connectors, one Gigabit Ethernet port, audio jacks (HD compliant) and four USB 2.0 ports. The motherboard features two more USB headers to allow utilization of up to four more USB 2.0 ports if needed. Jetway put three fan headers onto this board; one of them is used by the chipset fan, while the processor can still be operated only with a heat sink despite the doubled TDP, which went from 4 W to 8 W.

Jetway provides BIOS support through its website.