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Efficiency Analysis: Atom D510 Vs. Atom D525/ION2

In The Blue Corner: The Atom D525 Challenger

Jetway NC98-525-LF with Atom D525 and Nvidia ION2

This motherboard is based on the mini-ITX form factor and includes the processor soldered right onto the PCB. The solution is based on the Intel NM10 chipset plus Nvidia's ION2, which helps improves graphics performance. Jetway adds an HD audio codec, four USB 2.0 ports, and DVI-D, as well as HDMI for attaching display connectivity. However, the board has no expansion slots, except for one mini PCIe slot, as a result of space constraints on the 170x170 mm form factor. Be aware that Jetway offers this board in different models with either the Atom D510 or Atom D525 processor.

There is no ATX connector on this motherboard. Instead, it employs a 12 V connector on the rear panel, which is used to deliver power through the external PSU. Since we had to run both Atom solutions with an identical power supply, we used the same Enermax Pro 82+ unit. For purely testing purposes, we attached the ATX 12V conductor and ground wires to the 12 V power connector using a soldering iron. This worked well, even if it's only a temporary solution.

The motherboard comes with a single Molex power connector. This allows you to connect one drive right away. You'll need to use a Y-cables if you want to install more than one internal drive. Finally, it’s important to ground the green power supply wire to make sure that the system turns on when you switch on the power supply.

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Test System Data

Hardware Details
MotherboardJetway NC98-525-LF (Rev. 1.0), Chipset: Intel NM10 + Nvidia Ion, BIOS: A01 (07/08/10)
CPUIntel Atom D525 (45 nm, 1.80 GHz, 1 MB L2 Cache, TDP 13 W)
RAM DDR2 (dual)2 x 2 GB DDR2-800 (Apogee AU2G732-12GH001)
Hard DriveSeagate Barracuda 7200.11, 500 GB (ST3500320AS) 7200 RPM, SATA 3Gb/s, 32 MB Cache
Power SupplyEnermax Pro 82+ EPR425AWT
Operating SystemWindows 7 Ultimate x64, Updated on 2010-03-03
Intel Chipset DriversChipset Installation Utility Ver. 9.1.1.1025
Intel Storage DriversMatrix Storage Drivers Ver. 8.​9.​0.​1023
Nvidia GraphicsVersion 258.96
  • darthvidor
    very nice, thank you. been wondering how fast and energy efficient the new atom is. might replace the intel d945gclf2 connected to my tv.
    Reply
  • Scanlia
    Thanks... now I know that a D525 is better than the D510... I thought a higher number means that it's slower... .
    Reply
  • Simple11
    Sweet! I am always looking at atoms+ion combos for my Carputer build!
    Reply
  • Gin Fushicho
    I just skipped to the power consumption after I saw the application benches.

    I'd rather keep the D510 over a D525. Longer battery life for my simple purpose of web browsing.
    Reply
  • super_tycoon
    i don't think you guys even tried using the d525/ion2 system for anything beyond the benchmarks. you greatly underestimate how usable it is. my asus 1215n chugs along just fine in almost any game. obviously you wouldn't want to throw something like civ5 at it, but in reality the combo plays games better than (for the most part) any iX notebook with integrated graphics. it plays company of heroes and starcraft 2 just fine at lowered settings. i'd bet you'd be surprised how viable it is as a light gaming platform for something that uses as much power as your monitor.
    Reply
  • jeremypv
    >>This could not be done without Nvidia's graphics unit, as even 720p video was impossible to watch on the Atom D510.

    I'm using xbmc with a D510, and it plays 720p video just fine, with coreavc, it can even play a few 1080p videos
    Reply
  • ta152h
    Was this supposed to be about the Ion, or the D525? Why would you write an article with the intent to compare two processors, and put them on very different platforms?

    I didn't even read this worthless article after I saw that. It would have been interesting had the reviewers used some common sense.
    Reply
  • JonnyDough
    Except for power savings...why would anyone buy one of these when you can get recycled PCs for almost free? In six months they will have something a lot better anyway.
    Reply
  • sudeshc
    nice article, but i feel there is still need for alot of improvements
    Reply
  • SteelCity1981
    I don't get why intel still hasn't made the transition to 32nm for the Atoms yet. You would think these chips would have been the first to get 32nm.
    Reply