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GIGABYTE GA-GC330UD Mini-ITX - Dual Core Atom Tested

Ultra low power from Intel gets a boost. Atom is strong, but will a second core help? With the use of GIGABYTE's GA-GC330UD, let's find out.

| Editorials in Motherboards | Posted: Aug 31, 2009 7:16 am
TweakTown Rating: 85%Manufacturer: GIGABYTE

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Introduction

 

When Atom was first brought to our attention during Computex 2008, the idea of an ultra low power processor was extremely exciting; especially with the idea of Nettops and Netbooks really taking off. After all, Celeron processors when underclocked were anything but exciting. Even in their underclocled and undervolted state they still used up much more power than what we would really like to see. And with Netbooks really the way to go, Intel was indeed ready to respond. The result was Atom.

 

First generation Atom processors were based around a very simple x86 core with a 512K L2 cache designed to focus on power savings rather than raw speed. The N270 clocked at 1.6GHz was able to do a very good job for many companies in their Nettops and Netbooks. Power consumption was reduced significantly, but the problem was that more demand was being placed on the core than it could keep up with. Even simple video play back would cause problems if you attempted to do any multi-tasking on them and HD video playback? Don't even bother trying. Neither the CPU nor the IGP could handle the amount of cycles needed for decoding.

 

Atom has now got a boost to its design. Originally it was designed with a single core using hyper threading; the same technology Pentium 4 used to turn a single physical core into two logical processors. But it still wasn't enough. It seems that there is no real substitute for a true second core. Atom 330 is Intel's answer to a dual core low power CPU based around the Atom architecture.

 

Today we have on display GIGABYTE's GA-GC330UD all-in-one motherboard based around and including this CPU. Unfortunately we couldn't find this product listed on Newegg, but to give you an idea of where it sits in the market, it is being sold in various retail stores here in Australia for around $120 AUD. Compare that to VIA's EPIA SN18000 at over $400 AUD and it's clear that value is on side here for the GIGABYTE offering. Let's move on and see if its features and performance can also impress.

 

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