It’s been a few months since Intel introduced its latest Intel Atom processors, but it’s been pretty hard to find any actual products that actually use an Intel Atom N2600 or Atom N2800 processor. The Acer Aspire One D270 Cedar Trail netbook is up for pre-order for about $280, but it’s not shipping in the US yet.
But if you’re looking to build a small form factor desktop PC with an Atom N2600 chip, you’re in luck. JetWay’s new JNF9C-2600 motherboard with a Cedar Trail processor is available. You can pick one up from Newegg for $160.
The motherboard comes with a 1.6 GHz Intel Atom N2600 dual core processor. It’s a 32nm, 3.5 watt chip with 400 MHz PowerVR SGX 545 graphics. The motherboard measures about 6.7″ x 6.7″ which means you can fit it pretty comfortably into a small computer case for use as a nettop or home theater PC.
The system board has HDMI output, 3 USB 2.0 ports, Gigabit LAN, a PCI card slot and a mini PCIe card slot, support for up to 2GB of DDR3 800 MHz RAM, and support for SATA 3.0Gb/S or SATA 6.0Gb/s storage devices.
You’ll need to bring your own case, storage, memory, and operating system if you want to build a fully functional computer out of the Jetway JNF9C-2600, but it’s one of the first systems to hit the market bundled with an Intel Atom Cedar Trail processor.
I’ve been trying to use this very board to set up a media PC. The company that made the graphics core has put out a horribly pathetic video driver for Linux. Alan Cox has been working on an open source one, but the specs are sparse and there is much work to do. There is still no 3d or 2d acceleration, so as a media PC, this thing is completely useless – you get about 2 frames per second on it.
Although intels windows driver support for Atoms with PowerVR Graphics is as horrible now, as it was with the Menlow Atoms back in the day, it DOES have 2d and 3d acceleration, and even a 1.3 Ghz singlecore Menlow could flawlessly decode 1080p given the right codec on windows….so you CAN build a mediacenter if you’re willing to base it on windows… but all in all, the AMD APUs offer far better media- and 3D performance than any Atom offering intel has or will have for the foreseeable future.
Only thing is AMD’s solution winds up using more power and generating more heat. So there is a price for the performance…
Intel, however, may go back to their own GPU solution next year with the 22nm Silvermont update…
So that could make the Intel ATOM’s linux friendly again and possibly provide more competitive graphic performance.
Yes, there is no official support for Linux yet for Cedar Trail GMA’s. Like the older GMA 500/600 the new GMA’s are based on Imagination’s PowerVR GPU, specifically the SGX545.
Though they’re 2 to 3 times more powerful than the GMA 500, but have similar problem with getting good driver support for now.
There is some hope that the drivers developed for GMA 500/600 can be used or at least help speed up development by those working on it in the linux community, but we’ll not likely see any real progress for a couple more months.
While Intel is presently focusing on getting driver support ready for Windows 8 and everything else is secondary till then for them.
So Cedar Trail based systems are mainly for Windows users for now, but even then support for 64bit Windows 7 will likely not be done until Windows 8 comes out and driver support for DirectX will be limited to 9.0c, instead of 10.1, as well until Windows 8 comes out.
Though some like the Shuttle systems mentioned in a earlier article here offered a model with AMD discrete GPU that would help avoid the GMA driver issue.
Alternatively, the PCI slot could be used with a graphic card but NM10 Express Chipset probably will limit performance, but could let you work around the driver limit with a more compatible graphic card.
Comments are closed.