Introduction and Specifications
Asus has released a 478-pin socket motherboard that supports Intel Core Duo processors and DDR2 memory in a micro-ATX form factor. This could be a perfect solution for users looking for a nearly silent PC for their home, office or HTPC.
When it first made its debut, the Intel Core Duo processor made quite an impression on the mobile market. Increasing performance considerably with a second core while maintaining a consistent thermal pattern and power consumption meant that for the first time mobile users arguably could get the best of both worlds. Notebook users rejoiced, though the product took a while to arrive in mass quantities on the market, and Intel has a significant lead in the mobile segment once again.
On the desktop side, Intel hasn’t been nearly as aggressive or competitive. No one in the enthusiast segments should argue the fact that AMD’s K8 architecture and its migration to dual core with the X2 line up has a significant lead over Intel’s Pentium dual core processors in nearly all respects. The Athlon X2 is faster in games, most encoding applications, and office applications (where any difference is noticeable, at least) and can do with less power draw and lower temperatures. The Pentium D and Pentium XE lineup, based off the now cancelled and decried NetBurst architecture, can’t keep up with AMD’s pace.
This might all be changing very soon as Intel readies Conroe and Merom codenamed processors, based on an even newer architecture dubbed ‘Core’. Until then though, Intel is left behind in the desktop segment for gamers and enthusiasts. Or are they? There have been several boards released in the last couple of weeks that offer the user the ability to couple a mobile Core Duo processor with their desktop components in order to build a system around Intel’s better performing, lower power consuming processor. Secretly we know that Intel’s wants these boards out in the market — with them they can show that the future Conroe core CPU’s, an improvement over even Core Duo, will really shine against AMD’s Athlon lineup.
One of these boards to bring this offering to the enthusiast is the Asus NFL-VM DH motherboard. Sporting the Intel 945GM chipset and 478-pin processor socket, it offers users a choice of a nearly-silent PC or HTPC using Intel components.
Asus N4L-VM DH Specifications (from Asus.com)
Intel Core Duo T2600 Specifications
- 478-pin socket
- Dual core
- 2.167 GHz
- 667 MHz FSB
- L1 Cache: 32KB+32KB
- L2 Cache: 2 x 1MB
- 65nm process
- No HyperThreading
- No 64-bit support