Intel D510M0 Motherboard: Atom 2.0

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Intel D510M0

December 21, 2009 by Lawrence Lee

Product Intel D510M0
Intel Atom CPU/motherboard
Manufacturer Intel
MSRP US$75

Intel's Atom processor created a completely new market for small, energy efficient PCs. They attained the monikers, whether affectionately or derisively, of nettops and netbooks due to their low level of performance which limited their usefulness to simple tasks like surfing the internet. While some wrote off these devices as painfully slow toys, they took off due to their size, price, and the fact that to many users a computer is mainly a tool for getting online which doesn't require much horsepower. Netbooks especially have carved out a healthy market share for themselves that continues to grow. Now even handset companies like Nokia are producing 3G-enabled netbooks with telcos subsidizing them so that they can profit through mobile internet service.


Atom block diagrams, then and now.

The newest iteration of Atom, code name Pineview, has undergone a transformation similar to that of Intel's desktop CPU architecture, with chip designs consolidated to save space and reduce power draw. The new Atom platform moves the graphics core as well as the memory controller onto the same die as the processor, leading to a more efficient two chip solution. As a result, the new NM10 Express chipset package is only 17 x 17mm, 85% smaller than the previous combination of 945GSE and ICH7M chipsets.


The dual core Atom D510 and NM10 chipset.

The processor itself has several new features including Smart Cache, Enhanced Data Prefetcher and Enhanced Register Access Manager, all of which pertain to the efficiency of storing and sending out data within the L2 cache. The integrated graphics has also been upgraded to GMA 3150 which we presume is an updated version of GMA 3100, though the internet rumor mill suggests it is simply the name they've given to GMA 950 after integrating it on die. In any event neither IGP supports video hardware acceleration.

The first Pineview processors come in three flavors, the single-core N450 for netbooks, its desktop counterpart, the D410 and its dual core cousin, the D510, all running at 1.66GHz with 512KB of L2 cache (per core). We'll be looking at the D510 today, part of the Intel D510M0, a mini-ITX motherboard. As it is basically the successor to the Atom 330 powered D945GCLF2, a comparison between the two will reveal what effect the new platform has on performance and power consumption.

Technical Specifications: Intel D510M0
Processor * Intel Atom D510 (dual-core / 1.66 GHz / 512 KB x 2 L2 Cache)
Chipset * Intel NM10 Express
I/O Controller * Two SATA ports (fully shrouded)
* Two PS/2 ports
* Two Serial headers
* One Parallel Header
USB 2.0 * Four external ports
* Two ports via headers
* One USB for flash card / Solid-State Drive
Audio Solution * 6-channel Intel High Definition Audio (with multi-streaming)
* Front-panel mic / headphone header
* S/PDIF header
10/100/1000 Network Connection * Realtek 10/100/1000 Mb/s Ethernet Controller
Memory Capacity * Single-channel DDR2 with two connectors for 800 / 667 MHz memory support (4 GB max)
Memory Types * DDR2 800 / 667 SDRAM memory support
* Non-ECC Memory
Memory Voltage * 1.8V
Expansion Capabilities * One PCI connector
* One PCI Express Mini Card connector
Board Style * Mini-ITX / microATX-compatible
* 170mm x 170mm
Baseboard Power Requirements * ATX12V or SFX12V



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