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Intel’s economical, nettop-oriented variation of the old Sandy Bridge design looks very good, even though there is nothing new about the Celeron 847 which has been available earlier. But seeing the good sales of Brazos-based mini-ITX mainboards and the lackluster demand for Atom-based mini-ITX solutions, Intel has made the right decision to cut the price of junior mobile energy-efficient Celeron CPUs with Sandy Bridge design and retarget them at compact desktop systems where they have every chance to be a success, according to our tests.

Featuring Intel’s Celeron 847 processor and NM70 chipset, the mini-ITX mainboard we’ve tested is at least as good as its Brazos counterpart. Comparable to the latter in terms of heat dissipation, power consumption and price, it sports much higher performance – not only in computing tasks but also at HD video playback and even 3D gaming applications. As a result, Celeron 847-based configurations may be suitable for nettops as well as other classes of small form-factor PCs, including multimedia centers. Of course, the Celeron 847 is only half as fast as the slowest desktop Ivy Bridge CPU, yet its speed is high enough for most everyday applications we run on our home and office PCs.

The Celeron 847 + NM70 pair doesn’t put an end to Atom-based mainboards which remain unrivalled in terms of low power consumption and can still be used, for example, in home mini-servers. However, the Celeron 847, being a full-featured Core processor, is a better choice for compact and economical general-purpose computers.

As for the MSI C847IS-P33 mainboard we’ve used in this review, it is a well-made implementation of the Celeron 847 + NM70 platform. It is very inexpensive, which is its key advantage. Its functionality is rather limited due to the lack of additional controllers, but it has everything necessary anyway and looks attractive in terms of its functionality/price ratio.

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