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MP3 SOUND RECORDINGS
These recordings were made with a high resolution, lab quality,
digital recording system inside SPCR's own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber, then converted to LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've
listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation from the original
WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of what we heard during
These recordings are intended to give you an idea of how the
product sounds in actual use one meter is a reasonable
typical distance between a computer or computer component and your ear. The
recording contains stretches of ambient noise that you can use to judge the
relative loudness of the subject. Be aware that very quiet subjects may not
be audible if we couldn't hear it from one meter, chances are we couldn't
record it either!
The recording starts with 5 seconds of the room ambient, followed by 5 seconds
of the product's noise at various levels. For the most realistic results,
set the volume so that the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then
don't change the volume setting again while comparing all the sound files.
- Intel D945GCLF stock fan 12V, 9V, 7V, and 5V, 11-29 dBA@1m: One
We were surprised how fast the 1.6Ghz Atom processor "felt". While
setting up the system, installing drivers and programs, we experienced no significant
difference compared to the AMD X2 and Intel Core 2 systems we use regularly.
When we started to multitask, however, the slow-downs were obvious. While hyperthreading
does help, it is not a real substitute for a second CPU core, and the difference
is clear when you tax the system.
Users under the impression that the D945GCLF is well-suited a compact HTPC
will be disappointed. While the Atom processor is extremely energy efficient,
it is also very slow and the limited amount of memory that can be added will
make recording/encoding content difficult. The outdated onboard GPU and its
lack of digital outputs makes it a poor choice for a media extender, unless
the video being played is no higher resolution than 720p and you don't mind
an analog output for video. The chipset fan is a minor annoyance that can be
dealt with easily.
The D945GCLF seems to be a side-step in Intel's roadmap. Except for power consumption,
it is not really an improvement over the Celeron-based D201GLY2. Some may view
it as simply a desktop showcase for the Atom processor. If they really wanted
to make it better than its predecessor, they could have paired it with their
latest G43/G45 chipset and armed it with DVI, HDMI that would have turned
While it doesn't provide a better experience than the D201GLY2, its low power
consumption makes it a good choice for a cheap, small, cool and quiet machine
for casual email, web surfing, music playback, and watching videos that 720p
or lower res. The main trick here is finding a mini-ITX case and power supply
to house and cool the board quietly. It would also do fine as a home server
to be tucked away into some corner. Two SATA and one PATA ports are few, but
with the sheer size and low cost of today's hard drives, D945GCLF could form
the basis of a small, perfectly useful home server. There are also six USB ports
for connecting up additional external drives.
The best news for some readers is that this board will have a sibling, one
with two heads. Intel announced quietly at IDF that a dual-core Atom is coming.
One of these dual-core Atoms will be embedded in the D945GCLF2,
featuring the same 945GC desktop chipset as the D945GCLF. Too bad they didn't
go for the suggestions we made above G43/G45 chipset, DVI, HDMI. On the
other hand, Intel probably knows that such a product would hijack sales from
the full featured socket-775 mini-ITX boards that they will soon introduce,
and DQ45EK, based on the Q45 Eaglelake chipset. In fact, within the next
24 hours, we'll have one of the DG45FC boards in house for testing . Busy, busy!
With Intel muscling in, it's a busy time for the entire small computing devices
* Very low power consumption
* Easily made quiet
* Poor onboard graphics
* Fairly slow CPU
* Lack of connectivity (DVI, HDMI, S/PDIF)
Our thanks to Intel
for the D945GCLF sample.
* * *
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Asus M3A78 Pro: An ATX 780G
Intel D201GLY2 Mini-ITX mainboard
Albatron KI690-AM2: A Mini-ITX Powerhouse
* * *
this article in the SPCR forums.
Note: There are many ongoing discussions about this board, mostly
in the CPUs & Motherboards forum. Just try a search for D945GCLF.
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