Zotac NM10-DTX Motherboard
Introduction - The arrival of Mini DTX
Many of you are unfamiliar to the Mini DTX form factor, but who could blame you? The common retail form factors included ATX, Micro ATX and only recently has Mini ITX become such a hit amongst conventional DIY builders. For those who care, Mini DTX was originally announced by AMD in 2007, to act as the "middle man" between the tiny 17cmx17cm Mini ITX form factor and the not so small 30cmx24cm Micro ATX. The fact of the matter is that many users would've liked to build a compact machine that doesn't lack in the expansion/upgrade department.
Let's face it, Micro ATX motherboards are not small. At best, they are just a few centimetres shorter than conventional ATX equipment. Consequently, your computer can only be a few centimetres shorter or a few centimetres narrower. Alternatively Mini ITX means you can have a very small machine but you'll be limited to having just one PCI/PCI-Express slot. What if you happen to want an alternative? Cue Mini DTX...
The development of Mini DTX held a number of advantages. Aside the obvious advantages for the end user, Mini DTX should be cheap to produce (exactly six Mini DTX boards fit on a standard PCB panel) and unlike Intel's experiments with the BTX Form factor, AMD's design is backwards compatible with the ATX standard that we know and love.
Three years on, we're proud to have in our labs a retail Mini DTX Motherboard. Readers, meet the Zotac NM10-DTX.
Intel Pinetrail - An All New Atom Platform?
Unless you've been living under a rock for the last two years you'll be well aware of the success of the Atom Processor. Its miniature low power design made it a cheap and cheerful solution for laptops today. As a result netbooks have sold by the bucket load, providing thousands of homes with affordable computing. Let's not kid ourselves though as the mighty Atom is far from infallible. Aside from its obvious performance limitations, it was also paired with ageing and inefficient core logic whose roots date back to as early as 2004/2005. It truly was the Achilles heel of the Atom platform as it consumed a disproportionate amount of power compared to the processor it was paired with. This is where the new Intel NM10 steps in...
Today's Intel Atom processor affords a more modern design. By integrating the memory/graphics controller and amalgamating the remaining functionality of the Northbridge and Southbridge, a far more power efficient solution has been developed.
The NM10-DTX's exact specifications are as follows
|Processor Support||Embedded Intel Atom D510 Dual Core (2x512kB Cache, 667FSB)|
|Memory||2 x DIMM, Max. 8GB DDR3-1600/1333/1066/800|
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16
Supports HDMI with max. resolution 1366 x 768@60Hz
Supports VGA with max. resolution 1440x1050@75Hz
Intel NM10 Chipset
|LAN||Supports one PCI Express LAN 10/100/1000 Fast Ethernet|
|Wireless LAN||Atheros 802.11g 54Mbps Wireless LAN Controller (Mini PCIe)|
|Audio||Realtek® ALC892 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC|
|USB||Intel NM10 Chipset|
- 10 x USB 2.0 ports (6 x Rear, 4 x Internal)
Let's take a closer look at Zotac's first Mini DTX offering.