Point of View ION Atom 330 M/Board Review

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StartledPancake
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Point of View ION Atom 330 M/Board Review

Post by StartledPancake » Sat Jun 27, 2009 5:17 am

First of hello to you all, Ive taken quite a bit of info from the site and wanted to give a little back.

Last week I picked up one of the first PoV Atom 330 ITX boards, which as some of you may know is paired up with an ION/9400M Nvidia chipset.

The good

Cheaper (ish)than the Zotac by about 35 euros
PCIe x16 slot
4 SATA ports
Dinky!

The Bad

No PSU built in (making it much more expensive when paired with a pico)
No Wifi
A BIOS with all the intellegence of sea cucumber with a learning disability (no overclocking/RAID/err anything really). PoV's first M/B I believe and it really shows.

The board itself came in very spartan packaging, with just a single SATA cable and a small CPU fan. Not very impressive for something costing 150 euros. However it fitted well in the InWin BM689 case and the CPU fan whilst being tiny, doesnt seem to make much racket (unlike the case PSU fan).

I set mine up with Server 2008x64 (using Vista64 drivers), two 500GB Hitachi hard drives in RAID 1, (software, theres no hardware RAID on the board), and a Intel PT 1000 dual port PCIex4 network card. I used a modded Bluetooth stack to get 2k8 working with a Logitech Media Board Pro.

The box is destined for Home Server/HTPC duties at which it excels, CIFS copies are over 80MB/s which far exceeds that of a NAS costing twice as much. Its also iSCSI capable but I cant go into that here as its not exactly via a Microsoft approved strategy.

Power consumption

18w Off
23w Idle
27w File copy
34w Maxed out

Costs
Case e55
Board e149
Ram - I had some lying around
Pico PSU 120w + adpater - e100, total rip off for the quality.
PCIe network card - 50 euros S/H but worth every. Reduces the CPU load considerably and doubles bandwidth.
Drives e100

Total 455.

If I didnt want to use a PCIe x4 network card, the Zotac would have worked out cheaper and is I suspect a much more professional product. In a years time the lack of overclocking may prove a problem as even the dual core atom has just enough performance and no more. Anyway it works and Im happy with it.
Last edited by StartledPancake on Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

ilovejedd
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Re: Point of View ION Atom 330 M/Board Review

Post by ilovejedd » Sat Jun 27, 2009 8:33 am

StartledPancake wrote:Power consumption

18w Off
That doesn't sound good at all...

greenfrank
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Post by greenfrank » Sat Jun 27, 2009 2:51 pm

I would pay a bit more and buy Zotac ion.

StartledPancake
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Re: Point of View ION Atom 330 M/Board Review

Post by StartledPancake » Sun Jun 28, 2009 1:35 am

ilovejedd wrote:
StartledPancake wrote:Power consumption

18w Off
That doesn't sound good at all...
Yeah, fortunately its on 24/7 so its not an issue.

Methanoid
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Re: Point of View ION Atom 330 M/Board Review

Post by Methanoid » Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:47 pm

StartledPancake wrote:
ilovejedd wrote:
StartledPancake wrote:Power consumption

18w Off
That doesn't sound good at all...
Yeah, fortunately its on 24/7 so its not an issue.
Can you check that? I mean what mobo uses power when switched off. That would start to really piss me off.

Have you also looked at soft overclocking (SetFSB type programs). I asked POV about adding OC to BIOS but they claim that its not stable due to temps and then proceed to whine about competitors 2Ghz overclocks not being stable. Sounds a bit BS to me!

StartledPancake
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Re: Point of View ION Atom 330 M/Board Review

Post by StartledPancake » Wed Jul 01, 2009 8:12 am

Methanoid wrote:
StartledPancake wrote:
ilovejedd wrote: That doesn't sound good at all...
Yeah, fortunately its on 24/7 so its not an issue.
Can you check that? I mean what mobo uses power when switched off. That would start to really piss me off.

Have you also looked at soft overclocking (SetFSB type programs). I asked POV about adding OC to BIOS but they claim that its not stable due to temps and then proceed to whine about competitors 2Ghz overclocks not being stable. Sounds a bit BS to me!
Yeah the off state power use seems to be correct, but then its the same for my desktop usings Windows 7 "Hibernate". That uses 20w as well, the only way to get it to use zero is to use the power switch on the PSU.

The PLL isnt recognised by any of the soft overclocking apps, so if overclocking is a must then Id look elsewhere.

Its disappointing that we cant get a decent mobile chipset board in ITX for a decent price as its a much an overall better solution, especially when paired with a ULV chip.

ilovejedd
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Re: Point of View ION Atom 330 M/Board Review

Post by ilovejedd » Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:37 am

StartledPancake wrote:Yeah the off state power use seems to be correct, but then its the same for my desktop usings Windows 7 "Hibernate". That uses 20w as well, the only way to get it to use zero is to use the power switch on the PSU.
Well that's interesting. Even my bigger systems use almost 0W when they're shut down.

K.Murx
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Re: Point of View ION Atom 330 M/Board Review

Post by K.Murx » Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:53 am

StartledPancake wrote: Yeah the off state power use seems to be correct, but then its the same for my desktop usings Windows 7 "Hibernate". That uses 20w as well, the only way to get it to use zero is to use the power switch on the PSU.
How do you measure power? This seems extremely odd.
Last edited by K.Murx on Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

Methanoid
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Re: Point of View ION Atom 330 M/Board Review

Post by Methanoid » Wed Jul 01, 2009 12:44 pm

K.Murx wrote:
StartledPancake wrote: Yeah the off state power use seems to be correct, but then its the same for my desktop usings Windows 7 "Hibernate". That uses 20w as well, the only way to get it to use zero is to use the power switch on the PSU.
HHow do you measure power? This seems extremely odd.
Sounds like its not actually Hobernating but waiting oin USB resume and stil drawing current? Either way its off.

herrakx
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Re: Point of View ION Atom 330 M/Board Review

Post by herrakx » Wed Jul 01, 2009 2:34 pm

StartledPancake wrote: The good

Cheaper (ish)than the Zotac by about 35 euros
PCIe x16 slot
4 SATA ports
Dinky!

The Bad

No PSU built in (making it much more expensive when paired with a pico)
No Wifi
A BIOS with all the intellegence of sea cucumber with a learning disability (no overclocking/RAID/err anything really). PoV's first M/B I believe and it really shows.

The board itself came in very spartan packaging, with just a single SATA cable and a small CPU fan. Not very impressive for something costing 150 euros. However it fitted well in the InWin BM689 case and the CPU fan whilst being tiny, doesnt seem to make much racket (unlike the case PSU fan).

I set mine up with Server 2008x64 (using Vista64 drivers), two 500GB Hitachi hard drives in RAID 1, (software, theres no hardware RAID on the board), and a Intel PT 1000 dual port PCIex4 network card. I used a modded Bluetooth stack to get 2k8 working with a Logitech Media Board Pro.


If I didnt want to use a PCIe x4 network card, the Zotac would have worked out cheaper and is I suspect a much more professional product. In a years time the lack of overclocking may prove a problem as even the dual core atom has just enough performance and no more. Anyway it works and Im happy with it.
I got one of those boards as well, since I couldn't find any zotacs around here and I was in a hurry.

It REALLY shows its their first mobo :?.

I've got two 2GB kingston so-dimm modules in it and it only sees 3.3GB of available memory, both with Windows 7 64 bit and with memtest86+.

The BIOS options are close to zero.

There are no 64 bit drivers in the CD, and nvidia's webpage network drivers fail to initialize the network card. I have to use the ones that come with 7, but they only go up to 100mbps.

Plus the lack of integrated PSU makes it a whole lot more expensive than the Zotac one. It didn't bother me so much when I got it since I already had a silent PSU for my little valley 2, but when I swapped the boards I found two almost dead capacitors on the DC-DC converter on the 5V rail and the adapter doesn't work anymore, either. Now replacing it costs almost as much as the board itself. :cry:

All in all, one of the worst mobos I've bought in quite a long time. I hope they fix it soon with BIOS and driver updates.

StartledPancake
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Location: Netherlands

Re: Point of View ION Atom 330 M/Board Review

Post by StartledPancake » Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:52 pm

Methanoid wrote:
K.Murx wrote:
StartledPancake wrote: Yeah the off state power use seems to be correct, but then its the same for my desktop usings Windows 7 "Hibernate". That uses 20w as well, the only way to get it to use zero is to use the power switch on the PSU.
HHow do you measure power? This seems extremely odd.
Sounds like its not actually Hobernating but waiting oin USB resume and stil drawing current? Either way its off.
Power was measured with a Brennenstuhl plug in meter over the course of several days, Im pretty confident its accurate.

In addition to your other problems herrakx, have you noticed theres no boot from USB option? This board is turning out to be junk to be honest.

Im using the Vista64 Nvidia driver from the network card, version 67.8.9.0 and dont have any issues with Gb ethernet.
Last edited by StartledPancake on Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

Methanoid
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Post by Methanoid » Wed Jul 01, 2009 11:50 pm

Think I will wait for Ion2 (twice performance) and D510 (lower TDP Atom, possibly faster) and skip this generation

StartledPancake
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Post by StartledPancake » Thu Jul 02, 2009 3:23 am

I sent a quick note to PoV asking about BIOS updates for USB booting and overclocking, looks like there wont be any:
Dear sir

Thank you for having our product

The ION mainboard is a basic mainboard, and due that provided with a Basic bios also . For now there will not be released another bios with all features for overclocking and timings for the memory

With kind regards

Point of View / Technical Department
Albert Offerein
Id seriously recommend avoiding this board, as its basic (although not in price). Cant believe I now have to go out and buy a slimline CD player because of these clowns.

K.Murx
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Re: Point of View ION Atom 330 M/Board Review

Post by K.Murx » Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:45 am

So, your Desktop in "hibernation" takes 20W.
Desktop with PSU switch "off" takes ~0W (so it is probably not the meter)
The ITX-system "off" takes 18 W

This is interesting. What happens if you don't hibernate but shut down you desktop? 20W or 0?

Is there anything else running from the PSU? A monitor perhaps?
Or is there really only the PSU, plugged directly into the meter, and nothing else?

[Sorry for hijackign your thread, I am just a rather curious person when it comes to technology]

bonestonne
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Post by bonestonne » Thu Jul 02, 2009 10:21 am

if it's going off a PICO type power supply, it's a strange balance of energy savings.

The power bricks themselves suck juice as long as they're plugged in, with no on/off switch like a conventional power supply. slightly off balance when it comes to saving energy.

herrakx
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Post by herrakx » Thu Jul 02, 2009 1:21 pm

StartledPancake wrote:I sent a quick note to PoV asking about BIOS updates for USB booting and overclocking, looks like there wont be any:
Dear sir

Thank you for having our product

The ION mainboard is a basic mainboard, and due that provided with a Basic bios also . For now there will not be released another bios with all features for overclocking and timings for the memory

With kind regards

Point of View / Technical Department
Albert Offerein
Id seriously recommend avoiding this board, as its basic (although not in price). Cant believe I now have to go out and buy a slimline CD player because of these clowns.
Hi!

I finally fixed the network issue using the network driver from 20.14_nforce_winvista64_international_whql.exe and skipping the ion drivers altogether.

You can boot from usb drives, just plug them and press f12 for the boot menu to appear while you see the POV logo, or change the boot order from the bios. I've booted clonezilla from an USB stick.

hope that helps and you didn't buy the drive yet!.

I still can't see all the memory, that will have to wait until a bios update (maybe they won't add new features but they should at least fix that).

EDIT: sorry, the key for boot selection is F11, i just checked, f12 is for network boot

StartledPancake
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Re: Point of View ION Atom 330 M/Board Review

Post by StartledPancake » Fri Jul 03, 2009 4:34 am

K.Murx wrote:So, your Desktop in "hibernation" takes 20W.
Desktop with PSU switch "off" takes ~0W (so it is probably not the meter)
The ITX-system "off" takes 18 W

This is interesting. What happens if you don't hibernate but shut down you desktop? 20W or 0?

Is there anything else running from the PSU? A monitor perhaps?
Or is there really only the PSU, plugged directly into the meter, and nothing else?

[Sorry for hijackign your thread, I am just a rather curious person when it comes to technology]
No problem at all, Id be very interested to find out the answer. Theres nothing plugged into the PC apart from a usb dongle.

This behaviour is with the standard PSU, Ill be fitting the Pico tonight so will be able to do a comparison.

StartledPancake
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Post by StartledPancake » Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:01 am


Hi!

I finally fixed the network issue using the network driver from 20.14_nforce_winvista64_international_whql.exe and skipping the ion drivers altogether.

You can boot from usb drives, just plug them and press f12 for the boot menu to appear while you see the POV logo, or change the boot order from the bios. I've booted clonezilla from an USB stick.

hope that helps and you didn't buy the drive yet!.

I still can't see all the memory, that will have to wait until a bios update (maybe they won't add new features but they should at least fix that).

EDIT: sorry, the key for boot selection is F11, i just checked, f12 is for network boot
Thanks for the tip but unfortunately the keyboard is Bluetooth so I cant do anything keyboard wise until a stack is loaded, which comes from the WinPE install on the USB key.

Of course you can connect a USB keyboard but I suspect that takes longer than someone at PoV fixing such a simple issue.

Cistron
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Re: Point of View ION Atom 330 M/Board Review

Post by Cistron » Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:24 am

K.Murx wrote:So, your Desktop in "hibernation" takes 20W.
Desktop with PSU switch "off" takes ~0W (so it is probably not the meter)
The ITX-system "off" takes 18 W
I would worry about the power meter. Most of the cheaper models have problems with currents that are far off the sine-shape. Incidentally, which is the case with low power consumptions of PC power supplies.

Battlestorm
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Post by Battlestorm » Wed Jul 08, 2009 11:09 am

Using the nforce 9 drivers for which ever O/S you have on the ion will work, got full gigabit with win7 x64 7127

ram issue is a funny one, seems the manufactures dont know whats going on, i'm here from the zotac forums as someone linked me about the ram issue
Dear sir
Yes, I can confirm the ION MB is supporting 2x4GB , without any issue
With kind regards

Point of View / Technical Department
Albert Offerein
i can see Albert regreting that one in time to come if enough people make some noise

zotacusa. com/forum/index.php?showtopic=1467
address not clickable due to the limitations put on new accounts

-TDO-
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Post by -TDO- » Sat Jul 11, 2009 4:57 am

There must be something wrong with your PSU or your metering unit.

The mainboard consumes 1,5 Watt off and 3 Watt in hibernation. (with a cheap PSU).

And it surely is not an "experimental first time" mainboard as it is a POV-branded Pegatron (Asus OEM) mainboard.

-TDO-

zprst
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Post by zprst » Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:20 am

hi!

could any of the owners confirm that there's no way to switch the SATA-controller on the southbridge into AHCI mode?

thanks!

-TDO-
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Post by -TDO- » Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:57 am

zprst wrote:hi!

could any of the owners confirm that there's no way to switch the SATA-controller on the southbridge into AHCI mode?

thanks!
Of course is it possible to switch to AHCI.

You can choose between SATA (IDE), AHCI or RAID mode.

TDO

zprst
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Post by zprst » Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:21 am

-TDO- wrote: Of course is it possible to switch to AHCI.

You can choose between SATA (IDE), AHCI or RAID mode.
ah, great, thanks. i've assumed that this option is unavailable, due to this quote from the initial post of this thread:
A BIOS with all the intellegence of sea cucumber with a learning disability (no overclocking/RAID/err anything really)

-TDO-
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Post by -TDO- » Fri Jul 31, 2009 9:14 am

zprst wrote:
-TDO- wrote: Of course is it possible to switch to AHCI.

You can choose between SATA (IDE), AHCI or RAID mode.
ah, great, thanks. i've assumed that this option is unavailable, due to this quote from the initial post of this thread:
A BIOS with all the intellegence of sea cucumber with a learning disability (no overclocking/RAID/err anything really)
The BIOS has all you need.

The only thing missing are overclocking and manual memory configuration features.

TDO

xs2reality
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Re: Point of View ION Atom 330 M/Board Review

Post by xs2reality » Mon Aug 24, 2009 12:35 am

StartledPancake wrote: I've got two 2GB kingston so-dimm modules in it and it only sees 3.3GB of available memory, both with Windows 7 64 bit and with memtest86+.

There are no 64 bit drivers in the CD, and nvidia's webpage network drivers fail to initialize the network card. I have to use the ones that come with 7, but they only go up to 100mbps.

I think you have the Intel Atom CPU misunderstood mate... :roll:
Atom implements the x86 (IA-32) instruction set; x86-64 is so far only activated for the Atom 230 and 330 desktop models. N and Z series Atom models cannot run x86-64 code.

sauce: wikipedia / Intel Atom
FROm the asrock website: asrock dot c0m/nettop/overview.asp?Model=S330

1GB DDR2 memory support up to 4GB* (2xDIMM Slots, Dual channel)

*Due to the CPU and chipset limitation, the actual memory size may be less than 4GB for the reservation for system usage under Windows® XP / XP 64-bit / Vista™ / Vista™ 64-bit.

The Intel Atom CPU (&Chipset) supports 64-bit instructions but not 64-bit memory addressing... All Intel Atom based notebooks/pc's/mainboards have this issue... So it's really an issue of the CPU and not the support of the mainboard. I have one running myself with Windows 7 beta and there the full 4GB is displayed (can only use 3.2GB however :evil: ).

Wonder why you never see these Netbook/top thingies with Xp x64? That's probably also the reason there aren't any x64 drivers on the CD.

Anyway, I should contact them about the powerconsumption though. Don't have the equipment to measure it myself but 18W is pretty wack in standby mode. Should be fixable through a BIOS update, if the mainboard has the correct components ;)

mczak
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Re: Point of View ION Atom 330 M/Board Review

Post by mczak » Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:21 am

StartledPancake wrote: The Intel Atom CPU (&Chipset) supports 64-bit instructions but not 64-bit memory addressing... All Intel Atom based notebooks/pc's/mainboards have this issue... So it's really an issue of the CPU and not the support of the mainboard.
I am quite sure this is definitely untrue. N/Z series atom do not support EM64T, hence no 64bit instructions / addressing.
200/300 series do support EM64T. So how much ram can they actually address (most cpus don't implement the full 52 bits possible by x86-64)? This isn't really mentioned directly, but if you look at the datasheets you can see that the z/n series have address pins A3-A31 for a 32bit address space as expected (bits 0-2 are always 0). The 200/300 series chips apparently have some bugs in the datasheet in that area. The pin-out lists A3-A35, which would point to 36 bits (64Gbyte), the description, which must be wrong (since it mentions A3-A32 for 2^32 address space which doesn't add up, as that would be 2^33 address space) disagrees. I think though it's likely pin-out is correct (and the description buggy due to copy/paste errors from other atoms) hence the atom should have no problems addressing way more than 4GB. We know that technically Ion chipset should support more ram too, so everything seems to point to a bios issue, with the bios simply unable to enable memory remapping (for some unknown reason).

-TDO-
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Post by -TDO- » Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:44 pm

I don't know the exactly resource, but there has been a long discussion about this topic.

The answer from a Intel technican was, the existing Atom Cpus can only adress 4 GB.

So there will be no board with memory remapping or more then 4 GB.

-TDO-

mczak
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Post by mczak » Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:30 am

-TDO- wrote:I don't know the exactly resource, but there has been a long discussion about this topic.

The answer from a Intel technican was, the existing Atom Cpus can only adress 4 GB.

So there will be no board with memory remapping or more then 4 GB.

-TDO-
I'd really need a source to be able to believe this. Otherwise, not going to trust unknown source over the official intel atom datasheet (even though we know it has typos in that area).

pouko
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Post by pouko » Tue Sep 08, 2009 11:10 pm

I'm considering this board for my htpc. Does it support wake-on-usb?

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