Pentium M for the Desktop: AOpen i855GMEm-LFS & DFI 855GME-MGF

CPUs|Motherboards
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Southbridge-wise, the DFI board uses the newer Intel 6300ESB I/O Controller hub The 6300ESB is a more modern design that features two Serial ATA ports (which can support RAID 0 and 1 configurations, as well as JBOD), two IDE channels, four USB2.0 ports, two 33MHz PCI slots and a PCI-X 2.2. The PCI-X slot supports the most recent version of the PCI-X standard, offering a 66MHz DDR 64 bit interface. The 6300ESB sports a black anodized aluminum heatsink.


6300ESB Southbridge is cooled by this black anodized heatsink.

The board uses a standard 20-pin ATX power connector, and this DFI does not require a dedicated 4-pin +2V ATX ("P4") connector. This board will work with a lot of smaller or older power supplies.

The board's I/O panel sports PS/2, serial, and parallel ports on the left along with USB 2.0, Firewire, and Gigabit Ethernet connections in the middle. The four USB 2.0 ports on the I/O panel are the only ones on the entire board; there are no internal USB pins. This is a limitation of the 6300ESB chipset, and a bit inconvenient in these days of USB flash drives, card readers, cup heaters, and other USB gadgets. There are two internal Firewire headers which can be hooked up to the front of the chassis.


The DFI's ATX I/O panel sports all the usual connectors.

Over on the right side of the I/O panel are the audio connectors. The board has a standard 6-channel analog audio setup connected through a Realtek ALC655 AC ?97 chipset. DFI has not provided the external output connectors to take advantage of the S/PDIF digital audio outputs, although there are internal S/PDIF ports on the board.

Our sample was built on a yellow-brown PCB but production boards will be fabbed in sexier black. Accessories include the HSF, two pairs each of SATA and flat IDE cables, an SATA power adapter, rear ATX Shield, a floppy with RAID drivers, extra jumpers, and a CD containing required drivers and a manual in PDF format.


DFI on the left, AOpen on the right.

Feature Comparison of P-M Motherboards
Model
AOpen i855GMEm-FLS
DFI 855GME-MGF
Processor
Socket-479m Pentium-M
Socket-479m Pentium-M
Chipset
Intel 855GME Northbridge
Intel ICH4 Southbridge
Intel 855GME Northbridge
Intel 6300ESB Southbridge
FSB
400 MHz
400 MHz; 533 MHz support with firmware upgrade
Memory Interface
2 x DDR333 Slots (2GB Max)
2 x DDR333 Slots (2GB Max)
Memory Bandwidth
2.7 GB/sec Peak Bandwidth
(Single Channel DDR333)
2.7 GB/sec Peak Bandwidth
(Single Channel DDR333)
AGP Slot
1 x AGP (4x)
1 x AGP (4x)
IDE Ports
2 x Ultra ATA/100 Ports
(4 Drives)
Floppy Port
2 x Ultra ATA/100 Ports
(4 Drives)
Floppy Port
S-ATA RAID
2 x SATA-II/150 Ports
Promise 20579 Controller
RAID-0, RAID-1, JBOD
2 x SATA/150 Ports
Intel 6300ESB Southbridge
RAID-0, RAID-1, JBOD
PCI Slots
3 x 32-bit (33 MHz) PCI
1 x 64-bit (66 MHz) PCI-X
2 x 32-bit (33 MHz) PCI
USB / Firewire Ports
6 x USB 2.0 (Intel)
2 x Firewire 400 (Agere)
4 x USB 2.0 (Intel)
2 x Firewire 400 (VIA[ugh])
Integrated Graphics
Onboard Intel
Extreme Graphics 2
HD-15 Analog Output
Onboard Intel
Extreme Graphics 2
HD-15 Analog Output
Onboard Ethernet
2 x Marvell Yukon GigE Ports
(32-bit PCI)
1 x Realtek RTL8110S GigE Port
(32-bit PCI)
Onboard Audio
Realtek ALC655 AC'97 Audio
5+1 Channel Analog
Realtek ALC655 AC'97 Audio
5+1 Channel Analog


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