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Closer Look at Intel D510MO Nettop Mainboard

Most leading mainboard makers will eventually offer a wide range of solutions built around Pine Trail platform. For our introduction to Pineview Intel offered us their solution, D510MO, which can be considered a reference product on one hand, but also a mass production solution already available in retail, on the other.

Just like most nettop mainboards built around previous-generation Atom processors, Intel D510MO is designed in miniature Mini-ITX form-factor and measures 170x170 mm. most of the board is covered with a pretty large black aluminum heatsink. This heatsink cools the primary chip on D510MO – dual-core Atom D510 processor.

Intel Nm10 chipset, however, works without any cooling at all, which is in fact not surprising at all, because in reality it is just a South Bridge.

Note that Atom D510 based system doesn’t need a 12 V processor power connector. Due to an energy-efficient CPU and chipset, all mainboard components receive sufficient power through a standard 24-pin ATX connector. Moreover, the processor cooling system is fanless, just as they have promised: one “naked” heatsink is definitely more than enough to dissipate the heat from a CPU with 13 W TDP.

So, Intel D510MO allows building completely noiseless systems. Nevertheless, it might be a good idea to install a small fan on top of the mainboard heatsink if you are using a very small system case. Anyway, there is a three-pin fan connector onboard and the BIOS offers all necessary options for fan rotation speed control.

Dual-chip design of the Pine Trail platform frees enough space for expansion slots even on a miniature Mini-ITX mainboard:

Besides the PCI slot that was already present on nettop mainboards built around previous-generation Atom processors, Intel engineers also found room for a minim PCI-E slot, which may be extremely handy for all sorts of additional devices. Among them can also be the Broadcom BCM70015 hardware HD video decoder mentioned above, or wireless WiFi or WiMAX network card, for instance.

Intel D510MO has two standard DDR2 DIMM slots for the memory. This is a pretty significant improvement compared with the previous-generation nettop mainboards, which normally have only one memory slot onboard. But don’t get overexcited just yet: both slots are connected to the only memory channel implemented in Pineview that is why the only practical advantage of having an extra DIMM slot is the opportunity to use up to 4 GB of memory.

As for storage devices, the board is equipped with two SATA-300 ports and one special USB 2.0 pin-port for Intel Z-U130 SSD or other compatible drives. Besides that, the board features six regular USB 2.0 ports, four of which are laid out on the mainboard connector panel. There you can also see three analogue audio-jacks, Fast Ethernet connector and PS.2 connectors for keyboard and mouse.

There is an analogue D-Sub out on Intel D510MO for the monitor. Unfortunately, there are no digital interfaces, like DVI or HDMI, on this platform. And that seems to be the most serious drawback of Intel D510MO mainboard. However, keeping in mind that this mainboard will be priced at $75 and is targeted for the cheapest desktop platforms, its functionality seems to be quite adequate for its target market.

 
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