Intel’s Next-Generation Atom Mini-ITX Mainboards Have Arrived

Intel D510MO

Dual Core D510MO "Mount Olive"

At first glimpse, the Intel D410PT, codenamed “Packton,” is simply unimpressive, plain (yawn). The Intel D510MO, codenamed “Mount Olive,” is like the older sibling who, at the very least, plays on the varsity basketball team, but warms the bench most of the time—no one even knows the kid’s last name. We would pass over these two with glazed eyes, looking for something a little more exciting, like the tall brunette playing center. But, we should know better. Haven’t we heard the old saying, “It’s what’s on the inside that counts”? Well, very true with these motherboards. If we didn’t know for months already what Intel was planning with these boards, we wouldn’t be so excited. I have to say though, our excitement isn’t necessarily about these two particular boards. Just like any other Intel Mini-ITX mainboard, the features are minimal, the life-cycle is short (12~24 months), and the components are not industrial rated. But does Intel really care about that? No. And they shouldn’t. These boards sell themselves. For many applications, customers need little more than a video connection and some other basic I/O. These boards are inexpensive, meet typical computing requirements, and play host to the most important piece here: Intel’s processors.

Moving onto Intel’s next-generation Atom processors—the D510 and D410, codenamed “Pine View” with the full platform (processor + chipset) codenamed “Pine Trail” feature “integration of memory controller and graphics into the CPU, a first in the industry on x-86 chips.” According to Intel, what this means is that you have a smaller overall footprint from the chips on the mainboard, decreased production costs, and lower combined TDP. With a lower TDP, you have a dual core Atom processor with the ability to go fanless from the get-go (the dual core D510MO is fanless). The D410 is a single core Atom processor with a 12-watt total kit TDP including chipset and the D510 dual core Atom processor with a 15-watt total kit TDP including chipset. For us, the less power consumption you can get without greatly sacrificing performance, the better.

Off the back panel I/O, the D410PT features VGA, 4x USB ports, 10/100 LAN, 3x Audio jacks, and 2x PS2 ports. On the board, you have PCI, 2x USB pin headers for 4x USB ports, 2x RS-232 COM pin headers, 2 SATA (3 Gb/sec.) connectors, 1x Fan pin header, and your front panel pin headers. And, it has a 24-pin ATX connector and 2x DDR2 667/800 DIMM slots for up to 4 GB memory support. The D510MO has the same except it offers Gb LAN instead of 10/100, offers a PCIe Mini Card slot at the expense of one USB port via pin header, and has an LPT pin header, S/PDIF pin header, and Wireless activity LED pin header. Both boards feature the NM10 chipset and offer the GMA 3150 graphics. The GMA 3150 does not provide MPEG hardware acceleration, so we can look to the next-generation NVIDIA ION platform to satisfy the demand for improved video performance. However, it’s not clear what form the ION 2 will come in, so we’ll have to wait and see.

The potential is great for the next-generation Atom, but Intel’s entry-level motherboards, the Packton and Mount Olive, just skim the surface. Again, I don’t believe Intel was planning to do much more with these boards, and again, I don’t blame them. So, we must look to other mainboard manufacturer’s to give us a little more oomph. Jetway is poised to release an Intel Atom platform paired with the ICH8M chipset (both the D510 and ICH8M are on Intel’s embedded roadmap), so project customers with a slightly longer development cycle can look to this board to be around for 3+ years. We also hope to see some Pine Trail boards paired in some fashion with the ION 2.

About Kristina Bond
Kristina Bond was the Marketing Director for Logic Supply from 2007 to 2012. She graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia with an M.F.A. in photography and a B.F.A in photography and communication from Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WV. While technology and Logic Supply remain close to her heart, she moved on from the company in June 2012 to do marketing for the restaurant industry. To get in touch with Kristina, please contact kristina@kristinadrobny.com.
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8 Responses to Intel’s Next-Generation Atom Mini-ITX Mainboards Have Arrived

  1. henk says:

    Speaking of ‘oomph’ and long product life,
    I would like to buy the next generation Fujitsu board D2963-s with the companion ‘Futro’ case that should be coming out this month. Do you have
    any interest in carrying this?

    references:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k85qabCt0gM

  2. Greg says:

    Please tell me, what is the successor of the 1U D945GSEJT (Johnstown) board?

    Since Johnstown has the “old” notebook Atom (N270) on it, the successor to Johnstown should have the “new” notebook Atom on it, namely N450.

    What is the designation and availability date of this successor to Johnstown?

    Much obliged,

    Greg

  3. Kristina Bond Kristina says:

    Hi Greg,
    Unfortunately, we don’t have any information on what the successor to the Johnstown might look like or whether it will maintain a low-profile design. It does seem that the N450 will be paired with the ICH8M, but that could be subject to change. If information becomes readily available, we’ll certainly post it here!

    Kristina

  4. Kristina Bond Kristina says:

    Hi Henk,
    Thanks for the links! I’ll pass these onto my product manager. I believe we have looked at this board before, but weren’t exactly sure how the AMD Athlon Neo X2 would measure up to a dual core Atom. We haven’t done any testing or benchmarking ourselves, so sadly, this is mainly based on speculation. I haven’t seen any solid comparisons between these processors, so if you have a link to one, send it my way. I don’t believe we’ve ruled it out entirely and I know we like the Fujitsu Industrial mainboards, so it’s possible you’ll see more of their products at Logic Supply, but no guarantees! :)

    Kristina

  5. Henk says:

    Hi Kristina,

    I haven’t seen solid comparisons either with respect to these models.

    I’m glad to hear you haven’t ruled it out
    entirely.

  6. Tony Fiset tony f. says:
    Logic Supply

    Hello Henk,

    We are certainly evaluating the new Fujitsu board, primarily the one with the L325 Neo X2 CPU. If Fujitsu had set this board up with the newer 780 chipset with better graphics and DVI/HDMI, we would have been very excited. With the 690, however, we need to do a more thorough analysis of where it fits in our line and how it would benefit our customers.

    Thanks!

  7. V. Schneider says:

    I have a brand-new msi netbook with what appears to be the junior pineytrail chipset. It came with Windows XP, and I put a slackware distribution on sda4. Running the peacekeeper benchmark on XP with Opera for Windows gives the _same_ benchmark as my dual-processor 330 zotac-ion “entry-level” desktop running XP. Also, running Opera under Linux gives roughly the same (one or two percent lower) benchmark as on my desktop linux. So, the difference is the TDP footprint.

    The pineytrail mainboard appears to be a test mainboard for netbook makers, because if features LVDS connection for a notebook monitor as an alternate to vga. There is a question about the 3150 controller being primarily notebook panel oriented, in that the linux video driver, in Xorg.0.log, shows there is almost no information about things like vga screen geometry available to the driver. This could be a linux problem, but running a vga monitor off of the Windows XP also shows problems with the vga, though, if you know what your are doing, you can _manually_ change the official Intel graphics driver to get the right vga resolution.

    So, the question is whether your pineytrail version of my netbook has the same problems.

  8. Victor Schneider says:

    I recently got the D410PT mainboard from logicsupply and installed it in a Chenbro case with one of those DC converters that plug into the power connector. After finally figuring out how to get ahci working while _installing_ Windows XP, I ran the Peacekeeper Benchmark using the latest opera web browser and got a benchmark rating of 1477. If you try this yourself, you want to look at the “Brownian motion” segment of the benchmark, which is much better than the corresponding version using the zotac ion mainboard and a 330 cpu under XP and without the full ahci of the mainboard.

    My earlier comments on this board about the msi netbook running vga don’t apply to the D410PT, which does a really good job running vga, compared to the netbook, which does a good job running its lcd panel.

    (This is being written from RIPLinuX augmented by the hald and dbus packages and the entire x directory of slacklinux 13 and a more recent kernel with full or extensive support for the D410PT.)

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