Jetway NF9C-2600 Atom N2600 Mini-ITX Motherboard

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Power Consumption

Previous Atom processors managed to be fairly energy efficient despite lacking Intel's SpeedStep power saving feature. The N2600 does feature SpeedStep, slowing to 600 MHz along with a substantial 0.24V drop in core voltage in idle, according to CPU-Z.

Note: that all the boards in above were tested with different power supplies of varying efficiency, so consider these numbers a rough comparison.

Compared to previous integrated dual core processor motherboards, the Jetway NF9C-2600 was extremely energy efficient, not using more than 20W measured at the wall at any point during testing, even at full CPU and GPU load. It put the Pineview-powered Intel D510M0 to shame, though the latter uses a desktop iteration of Atom with a much higher TDP. Surprisingly, SpeedStep didn't really help power consumption at idle, but once we started to stress the system, the NF9C-2600 pulled away.

The NF9C fails to reach the idle efficiency levels of the Intel D945GSEJT though, a mini-ITX board powered by the single core first generation Atom N270. Even paired with extra hardware (a Broadcom hardware decoder card to make up for its lack of video playback capabilities), it still used a miniscule 12W when sitting idle.

Video Playback

The new GPU powered through our video playback tests with ease, even handling a high definition Flash trailer with less than 25% CPU utilization. It's nice to see an Atom chip doing hardware acceleration without a third party graphics processor like Nvidia ION or an add-on decoder card such as the Broadcom BCM970012.

Unfortunately we weren't able to get Blu-ray playback to work, with both Cyberlink's PowerDVD and ArcSoft TotalMedia Theater refusing to play our discs. The GMA 3600 series and its graphics driver isn't recognized by current playback software as being compatible but it's likely this will change in the future.

The NF9C-2600 used 7W less power (on average) playing video than the the Zotac IONITX-A using a first generation dual core Atom with an ION GPU, and 9W less than the Asus E35M1-M using an AMD Fusion APU. It even managed to be slightly more frugal than the ultra-efficient Intel D945GSEJT with a Broadcom decoder chip.

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