Jetway NF9C-2600 Atom N2600 Mini-ITX Motherboard

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Fan Control

For a board of its type, the NF9C-2600 has a surprisingly good fan control setup with three controllable 3-pin headers available. The SmartFan Configuration menu in the BIOS allows users to set stop, start, and full speed temperatures and fans connected follow this regime fairly closely. However during testing we found that the temperature range of the CPU was quite low, typically staying in the 50 to 60 degree range once it had heated up after a few minutes, even on full load. One can expect constant fan speed changes unless the full speed or start temperatures are set very high.


SpeedFan screen with correlations noted.

Jetway does not provide a fan control utility for Windows but users have the option of using SpeedFan to adjust the fan speeds to their liking. To activate fan control, locate the "F71869AD" chip in the Advanced tab of the configuration menu and change PWM 1-3 from "Auto set PWM" to "Manual set PWM." This will unlock the complete speed control for all three headers.

SpeedFan showed a variety of temperature sensors, but only three seemed to be viable, and they seemed to correlate roughly to the temperature of the chipset heatsink. We suggest setting fan control to respond to the native Core 0/1 temperature sensors. The heatsinks did get very hot to the touch at full load, but under normal operation in a well-ventilated enclosure, we wouldn't expect any overheating problems and you should be able to get away with passive cooling alone.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The mobile version of Cedarview is extremely energy efficient for a board with a dual core CPU, shining brightly against comparable desktop models. The power consumption of the Jetway NF9C-2600 is excellent, not exceeding 20W at any point during testing and only used 17W at rest. It easily outclasses older products featuring the Atom D510 and the AMD E-350. but can't match the superb idle energy efficiency of older, single core Intel D945GSEJT. Despite its low power footprint, the board heatsinks get quite hot at high load, so for industrial use, a fan would be recommended. Luckily, this model has three controllable fan headers to help limit noise.

The new CPU isn't any different from previous Pineview offerings except for the smaller 32nm die, so it doesn't deliver any extra performance over predecessors. It is still quite a bit slower than AMD's E-350, noticeably so when running Windows 7 with Aero Glass enabled. The only significant change is the GPU, with Intel moving away from GMA 3150 in favor of the PowerVR SGX 545 (dubbed GMA 3600 for the N2600). Shifting from their own in-house graphics chip to a PowerVR GPU in the same family as those commonly found in mobile devices gives Intel a capable, efficient video decoder but it also introduces a slew of problems.

Intel's current drivers only support 32-bit versions of Windows 7 and Windows 8 (no Linux, no XP, etc.) and DirectX 9 even though the GPU is physically DirectX 10 compliant. It is unclear whether this will be expanded in the future. We can attest to the driver immaturity, having encountered irregularities during testing like the often-flickering screen, especially with transparency enabled, and various game demo benchmarks failing to run. The motherboard itself is geared for commercial use with LVDS connectors, CFast slot, and multiple serial port headers and other legacy port options, but it doesn't seem optimal for this application given the operating system limitations.

Though not intended for use as a media PC, this new Jetway board can obviously do the job, though many of the features would go unused. The Jetway NC9KDL-2700 is a better choice for home use as it is equipped with a faster Cedarview CPU and GPU, a more consumer-friendly feature-set, and a lower price.

Our thanks to Jetway for the NF9C-2600 CPU/motherboard sample.

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