Zotac NM10-DTX Motherboard

Testbed, BIOS & Overclocking

Testbed

Intel Atom D510 @ 1.66GHz
Zotac NM10-DTX Motherboard
2GB Patriot PC2-6400C4 DDR2 RAM
nVidia GeForce 8800GT 512mb GDDR3
Samsung Spinpoint F1 320GB SATA II HDD
Samsung 22x DVD+/-RW
BeQuiet! Dark Power 750W 80PLUS PSU
Windows 7 Home Premium x64

Initial Impressions

As expected the installation process was trouble free and the motherboard POST'ed first time. It should be noted that Windows 7 will not detect the NM10-DTX's Black SATA Ports until the JMicron drivers are installed. Speaking of drivers, Zotac still haven't fixed the Autorun functionality on their Driver CD. After manually exploring the Disc for drivers and a system restart the testbed was now fully prepped for testing. 

Despite Intel's GMA Drivers installed our Dell Ultrasharp 2408WFP could only operate at a maximum resolution of 1366x768. Completely forgetting that this motherboard wasn't nVidia ION based, the limitations of the GMA3150 graphics adapter became all too apparent. This was indeed the maximum supported resolution over Digital Output (HDMI), while the VGA output can support up to 1400x1050. For a motherboard that weighs in at £115, this is very disappointing.

That said, we were very satisfied by the NM10-DTX's Wireless and Sound capabilities. The Realtek Audio module is one that we have frequently come across on a wide range of motherboards. Unless you are an audiophile, the integrated solution will more than suffice. Meanwhile, the Atheros 802.11g Wireless Adapter maintained a sustained 54Mbps transfer rate and never suffered from a drop out.

BIOS

For most DIY builders, the NM10-DTX motherboard layout should appear very familiar. The location of parameters are exactly where you might expect them.

Zotac NM10-DTX Motherboard

Zotac NM10-DTX Motherboard     Zotac NM10-DTX Motherboard

Zotac have also implemented a basic set of overclocking parameters. It is possible to manipulate the Atom CPU's Base Frequency, CPU, Memory and Chipset Voltages. It is also possible to select from three DRAM ratios; DDR2-533/667/800.

Temperatures & Overclocking

We were rather impressed by the NM10-DTX's cooling performance. Loading just shy of 70c, there doesn't appear to be a need for active cooling on it's heatsink. This is a major selling point for the Zotac as many of it's competitors feature a small fan on their heatsinks. As always, do ensure that your chassis offers a sensible level of airflow to prevent the risk of overheating. 


The new Atom D510 features a faster Front Side Bus frequency of 166MHz (667MHz effective) and as such, this was bound to limit our attempts. In fact, our maximum stable base frequency was determined at 171MHz, resulting in an overall frequency of 1713MHz.

Zotac NM10-DTX Motherboard

While offering overclocking paramters in BIOS was a nice touch by Zotac, it's quite clear that overclocking the Atom D510 was a fruitless endeavour.

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Most Recent Comments

20-05-2010, 09:09:47

tinytomlogan
Mul takes a look at Zotacs latest DTX motherboard, but does the extra real estate bring with it extra features and performance?

Continue Reading

20-05-2010, 11:31:57

Rastalovich
Great review.

All the way through it I find myself thinking about each component as "it's nearly good enough..".

The price breaks it tho. Play music, browse the net on ur tv, email and office (well an older version of office).

A step up in each component and it could be so much better. Atleast be capable of 1080 and it'd have much more use.

20-05-2010, 11:43:16

Mul.
That's exactly the problem. It had nearly all of the ingredients to make a very competent motherboard but lost out greatly in the GPU department. Given the (lack of) performance provided by the Atom CPU, multimedia tasks are largely GPU dependent. It's great to see that Intel have modernised the Atom platform but it's all too clear that this is a platform for laptops and not desktops.

Yes, you can always drop a competent GPU into the NM10-DTX but at this pricepoint you shouldn't need to. The nVidia ION that we have tried multiple times can do HD up to 1080p without breaking much of a sweat and can even do CUDA accelerated tasks such as video encoding (with apps such as Badaboom). The nVidia ION2 for the new NM10/Atom D510 platform is even better still.

Sadly, all this review has proven is that the Atom is like a fish out of water when nVidia's ION GPU isn't present. The endgame is that similar money will buy you an ION equipped motherboard.

20-05-2010, 11:48:07

Rastalovich
Indeed, just as a sidenote, I noticed 76 is all that's being asked for complete units, boxed and ready to go, that will do all that this won't.
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