Intro to the Jetway Cedarview Motherboards

The arrival of the Cedarview-based mainboards felt so much more tangible a month ago. We began receiving production samples from our suppliers and we were able to get our hands on them long enough to take pictures, test compatibility, and write reviews before promptly sending a few out the door to our customers. We expect to see more reliable inventory in the next couple weeks as the first batch of Intel’s Cedar Trail platform motherboards arrive: DN2800MT “Marshalltown” and the DN2700MUD “Mount Union.” Jetway was quick to market with their Cedarview options; however, they have some latecomers, too. We have yet to get in the Jetway NF9D-2700, which we believe will be the go-to platform for many of our customers’ projects. Well, with the exception of projects requiring a 64-bit OS, Linux OS, or pretty much any OS that is not Windows 7 32-bit.  We’re interested to see how much of a game changer the limited OS support will be to customers adopting these boards for new projects.

So while we eagerly await getting more of these motherboards in house, we have an introduction to two of them below. The Jetway NC9KDL-2700 and the NF9D-2700 Mini-ITX  boards feature the 2.13 GHz Dual Core Intel Atom D2700 processor, HDMI output, VGA, and dual Gb LAN. The NC9KDL is a good entry-level option that offers some industrial I/O with graphics capabilities. The NF9D supports Jetway’s daughterboards, which provide expansion for extra serial and LAN ports. It also has 2 SATA 6 Gb/sec. connectors, PCIe Mini Card slot for Wi-Fi or Bluetooth devices, and RAID support.

Which board do you prefer? Will you find the OS limitations as a major sticking point when transitioning over to the new platform? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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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22 Responses to Intro to the Jetway Cedarview Motherboards

  1. Anonymous Coward says:

    Why couldn’t you run Linux on this? It makes no sense. Intel is offering Linux on Cedar Trail notebooks. You wouldn’t have complete open source graphics drivers, yes. But, like many others, I wouldn’t be buying this for its graphics anyway (AMD has a compelling graphics in its competing products).

    If Intel doesn’t fix this nonsensical 64bit limitation (this is 2012!), I’m probably going to turn to AMD. That or I’ll stay with Pine Trail.

    Modern Atoms are great CPUs but the mITX boards offered so far have been quite poor (except for the now outdated D945GSEJT).
    I was expecting Cedar Trail boards months ago. They’ve been such a succession of dispointments! Intel really messed up this time.

  2. Margaret says:

    There’s no reason to buy one of these boards for general application — they’re not powerful enough. So they’ll be bought (or in the case of these boards, not bought) to create dedicated firewalls, routers, NAS servers, kiosk managers, home theaters, etc. Appliances, in other words. Appliances that run 64-bit freeBSD, openBSD, pfSense, Linux, and similar, *not* 32-bit Windows.

    “Diskless workstations” and slow, weak computers that require big, expensive operating systems — it amazes me that there are still people unconscious enough not to realise that those are obviously Bad Ideas.

  3. cldavis says:

    No Linux…No Sale. Pretty simple. The mITX/Atom motherboards have specific uses that they are very well suited. For my tastes, the industry could pay a little more attention to the upper range of temperature tolerance in the fanless models (come on guys, only 60 degrees C!), but until then some sort of active cooling will have to do to help out. As for Jetway specifically, I am glad they embrace the daughterboard concept for I/O expansion, but look forward to them moving to dual mini-PCI express that complements their new line of mini-PCIe expansion boards. Cudo’s for having the foresight to move into this market, now embrace it and run with it.

  4. Kristina Bond Kristina Bond says:

    Hi @anonymouscoward
    Where have you seen the Linux Cedar Trail notebooks being sold? I’ve seen a few announcements, but nothing for sale with Linux as an OS. I would definitely appreciate a link! Information on Linux support with these boards has been spotty and our testing has shown no graphics acceleration when Ubuntu Linux 10.04 LTS is installed on the DN2800MT board. Everything else works fine, as in you can browse the Web and use basic desktop applications. For us, no graphics acceleration is not ideal and we won’t be supporting these boards with Linux until fixes go into place, which we expect they will…

    The 64-bit limitation is odd, and has already been deal breakers for some of our customers, who have returned these boards once realizing the only OS they could install on it was Windows 7 32-bit.

  5. Kristina Bond Kristina Bond says:

    Hi Carl,
    Yeah, we have a great appreciation for the Jetway daughterboards too, and we hope to see the PCIe Mini Cards take off when more boards start supporting 2 slots. We hope the Linux support thing gets worked out, too. We’ll do our best to keep people posted on that.

  6. Anonymous Coward says:

    Here’s a link Kristina: http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTA1ODI

    The lack of acceleration in Ubuntu so soon after the release was to be expected. I’m glad to hear you even got a generic distro to boot in graphical mode!
    It took years for people to write open-source drivers for the previous generation of non-Intel Atom graphics (and I don’t know if they’re any good). Some distros may never provide acceleration for Cedar Trail due to the closed-source problem (in fairness, it’s not a problem unique to Intel).

    @Margaret: lots of people are running 32-bit Windows on Atom, for instance for legacy applications which don’t need much power. MS Word users may also want to run 32-bit Windows instead of a free OS on their Atoms.

  7. Adam says:

    OK, I’ll bite…why won’t this board support x64 OS or linux? BIOS limitation? According to Intel the D2700 is x64(?)
    http://ark.intel.com/products/59683/

  8. Kristina Bond Kristina Bond says:

    Hi Adam,
    Unfortunately, there aren’t any drivers for Windows 7 64-bit. I assume the same goes for Linux. We were able to get Linux 32-bit installed on the DN2800MT motherboard, but the graphics are quite limited and choppy.

    From a thread on Tom’s Hardware:
    “On the Intel® website there has been Windows 7 64bit drivers (no graphics or storage drivers) for the Intel Desktop Boards D2700DC and D2700MUD. These 64bit drivers are to be pulled from the Intel site. In the end we are not going to be providing any type of support for developing 64bit drivers for any Intel Atom™ D2700 based boards. So the statement from Jetway that 64bit support is not going to be offered because Intel isnt providing support for these is correct.” – Christian Wood, Intel Enthusiast Team

  9. Anonymous Coward says:

    It seems 64bit Linux run on the Intel boards according to another retailer: http://www.mini-itx.com/store/images/D2700DC-running-Ubuntu-with-8GB.png
    Obviously it can’t work as well as Kristina would like but for those of us who aren’t interested in the graphics, that’s a relief.

    Hopefully Jetway will issue a BIOS update that enabled 64bit…

  10. V. Schneider says:

    Wouldn’t it be silly to trick the Linux xorg intel driver into thinking that the cedarview chipset is really pineviewG? It may only involve a change of #define statements in one .h file in the Linux kernel source code in drivers/gpu/drm/i915. At any rate, I may know the answer later on. As for acceleration, some cedarview boards have a slot for the crystalhd card, which does indeed provide acceleration in a cedarview board.

    And, while you’re waiting, check out the slitaz.org forums for my post on the modified 925resolution.c file that lets you get honest 16:9 resolution in vesa mode under Linux, using the xorg vesa driver.

  11. V. Schneider says:

    Oops. I meant 915resolution.c, an “old” public-domain program for tricking the oem vesa bios into thinking its prime 4:3 mode is reallly 16:9. As in, if mode 54 is the prize 1024×768 mode, then

    915resolution 54 1366 768

    is the command-line or unix shell script for cnanging to 1366×768 resolution and making it stick for the xorg vesa driver.

  12. V. Schneider says:

    You can go one step further and get a setup that runs really fast in 16:9 resolution by using the methods that led up to the open-source drivers for other chipsets. What I mean is that you get a kernel with the uvesafb.ko module checked off as a module only, not a kernel built-in. You also download the x86d program from somewhere on the internet and put it in /sbin. You then start up your system minimalist, no frame buffer on the kernel parameter line. After logging in, you do:

    home:> 915resolution 54 1366 768 32
    home:> modprobe uvesafb mode_option=1366×768-32
    home:> startx

    This gives you an honest-to-goodness /dev/fb0 with the geometry stated above. If your monitor has a different resolution, then you do the above for that resolution. This probably works for poulsbo as well. Remember to disable whatever version of the malware gma500 driver, and fail to listen to the naysayers who log on to your system. Let me tell you that Intel cedarview chipset, with its 10 watt (plus dc2dc and peripherals) is amazing, and the Windows 7 performance rating does not do it justice.

    This method was tested on several slackwares, but ought to work on Ubuntu as well.

  13. V. Schneider says:

    Almost forgot. Get the xorg fbdev video driver if your distribution doesn’t come with it and set your xorg.conf or equivalent to do fbdev as the adjunct to the previous post. Guaranteed that the most successful open-source drivers started with incorporating the above. You can verify for yourself that the Xorg.0.log file is using the fbdev video driver with the specified monitor resolution and very good streaming video.

  14. Kristina Bond Kristina Bond says:

    Thanks for all your input, Victor!

  15. Emptor says:

    Just got an NF9D Jetway motherboard. Was disappointed that there was no 64-bit support, especially as I’ve been using Atoms for a few years with no such issue. I thought the driver explanation was a little hokey; I planned to run headless anyway.

    Am getting intermittent DMA read errors with a brand new SSD. A network setup I’ve used several times is not working, and I don’t think it’s because I’m using the 32-bit version of the same OS.

    I think this one has to go back into the oven for a while.

  16. Emptor says:

    PS Even the console didn’t display correctly. Not very confidence inspiring.

  17. Kristina Bond Kristina Bond says:

    Hi Emptor,
    Yes, not having 64-bit support is less than ideal. Did you contact our support team with the performance issues you’ve been seeing? It’s good for us to hear about any concerns from our customers so we can communicate that back to the manufacturer.

  18. Hello_there says:

    Hi, any update on this great products? Does it support 64bit OS now,
    don’t really care for the graphics, since It will be headless and on CLI.

  19. Kristina Bond Kristina Bond says:

    @hello_there
    Unfortunately, there is no support for 64-bit OS on Windows-based machines and from what I’ve read, there won’t be. As for Linux, it’s not clear whether you’ll get things to work; I’ve read differing reviews on this and we’ve also seen different results in house. The best thing to do is install a Linux distribution on your machine and test to see if it works for your application.

    I hope that helps!
    Kristina

  20. hello_there says:

    @Kristina Bond

    Hi, thanks for you reply, what I meant If the issue regarding about the board has been fix.
    especially the 64bit support in bios(1), and if this has been resolve, can It take 8GB of ram(2).
    Can you do in house verification of these on N9FD-2700?

    Really Interested buying at least 4 of these with daughter cards.

    (1)From you:
    “From a thread on Tom’s Hardware:
    “On the Intel® website there has been Windows 7 64bit drivers (no graphics or storage drivers) for the Intel Desktop Boards D2700DC and D2700MUD. These 64bit drivers are to be pulled from the Intel site. In the end we are not going to be providing any type of support for developing 64bit drivers for any Intel Atom™ D2700 based boards. So the statement from Jetway that 64bit support is not going to be offered because Intel isnt providing support for these is correct.” – Christian Wood, Intel Enthusiast Team”

    (2)From Anonymouse Coward
    “It seems 64bit Linux run on the Intel boards according to another retailer: http://www.mini-itx.com/store/images/D2700DC-running-Ubuntu-with-8GB.png
    Obviously it can’t work as well as Kristina would like but for those of us who aren’t interested in the graphics, that’s a relief.
    Hopefully Jetway will issue a BIOS update that enabled 64bit…”

  21. Tony Fiset Tony says:
    Logic Supply

    @Hello_There

    It is highly unlikely that Jetway will offer a BIOS update to support 8GB RAM – with no official OS support, it would open up a huge can of worms for them and be a support nightmare.

    Also, Intel has no real incentive to add 64-bit/8GB support to Atom processors – it would only serve to cannibalize sales from Celeron/Core processors which are far more profitable.

  22. David says:

    Well, my goodness, would have been great to have had the foresight to even know to search for this 2 years ago when I bought the board. Guess I just assumed that TPTB would’ve figured these things out ages ago. What a train wreck of a motherboard. Bought the thing assuming that modern hardware can run just about anything. But I guess I didn’t know enough about hardware then. First I wanted to install esxi and run a few VMs for server applications at home. Crash and burn number one. Then I figured I’d install puppy linux and run a windows vm with xampp. That actually worked. I ran Lupo 5.25 as a live image on the SSD and XP was cruising along in virtualbox. And it strangely enough sensed all the monitor changes I was making. Then last week I decided to switch to centos 64 and discovered the well-known secret that Intel pulled the plug on practicality. Apparently. But I was still unaware of the linux problem specific to this board and I guess to cedarview. Ran into errors then did some more research and decided to switch to debian 32bit. Then booting into KDE looked all pretty except that it would only run that nasty 1024×768 resolution. At first I thought it was my old LCD TV monitor, but my optoma ml500 didn’t like it either. argh! all I want is NAS and a LAMP stack and all the other home services like a home movie every now and then. I’m not a linux guru so I need some graphical support, but yikes! WARNING WARNING, THIS IS NOT A GOOD BOARD FOR HTPC/HOME SERVER USE! Looks like i’m going to need to use win 7 til im comfortable going headless, but by that time i’ll just end up buying something equally as compact and low power but with more oomph. The ASRock C2750D4I looks nice for a rackmount system. But, lo in the interim with not a care from jetway or intel on the matter, it looks as though this machine will just have to be chalked up to the buyer beware gone wrong category. I will, however, be virtualizing a linux build in virtualbox on top of win 7 32 bit to satisfy that part of me that needs to use every last byte of those 3.2gb available.

    Long story short, thank you to the author of this article and logic supply for ending my longing and searching for a linux solution to the stinking Jetway NF9D-2700!

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