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Testing Methodology

Since mini-ITX mainboards with Celeron 847 are positioned as an alternative to highly integrated solutions with built-in AMD Bobcat or Intel Atom processors, we are going to compare the MSI C847IS-P33 with such opponents in the first place.

One of them is the Intel D2700DC mainboard which features the fastest Atom available – Atom D2700. Based on the 32nm Cedarview design, it has two execution cores, 1MB L2 cache and a clock rate of 2.13 GHz. It supports Hyper-Threading and has a TDP of 10 watts.

The second mainboard is ASRock’s E350M1 with AMD E-350, a 40nm CPU with Bobcat microarchitecture which is clocked at 1.6 GHz, has two execution cores, 1MB L2 cache and a TDP of 18 watts.

The third mainboard included into this comparison is MSI’s Z77IA-E53. It is an LGA1155 mini-ITX solution with Intel Z77 chipset and we use it with a regular desktop processor Celeron G1610, the junior embodiment of the Ivy Bridge design). It will help us see how platforms with economical CPUs compare with ordinary desktop configurations.

During this test session we used the following hardware and software components:

  • Mainboards and platforms:
    • ASRock E350M1 (AMD E-350 + AMD Hudson M1);
    • Intel Desktop Board D2700DC (Intel Atom D2700 + Intel NM10 Express);
    • MSI C847IS-P33 (Intel Celeron 847 + Intel NM70 Express);
    • MSI Z77IA-E53 (Intel Celeron G1610 + Intel Z77 Express).
  • Memory:
    • 2 x 2 GB DDR3-1333 SDRAM DIMM (Kingston KHX1600C8D3K2/4GX) 9-9-9-27;
    • 2 x 2 GB DDR3-1333 SDRAM SODIMM (Apogee AS2G733-13G) 9-9-9-27.
  • Hard drive: Crucial m4 256 GB (CT256M4SSD2).
  • Power supply unit: Corsair AX760i (80 Plus Platinum, 760 ??).
  • Operating system: Microsoft Windows 7 SP1 Home Premium x86.
  • Drivers:
    • AMD Catalyst 13.1 Driver;
    • AMD Chipset Driver 13.1;
    • Intel Chipset Driver 9.2.2.1034;
    • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator Driver 8.14.8.1083;
    • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator Driver 15.28.12.2932.

Although the CPUs we are about to test represent very different microarchitectures, we want to show you a table with their basic specs:

We need to make one important remark before we proceed to our testing. Although we long ago switched to 64-bit versions of Windows 7 or 8 in our reviews, we have to install a 32-bit OS in this case because the Cedarview’s integrated graphics core hasn’t yet acquired a 64-bit driver and is unlikely to do so in the future. There is even no beta version of such a driver, so the Atom-based platform may only be viewed as 32-bit, even though the Atom itself supports the 64-bit extensions.

 
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