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So, thanks to ASUS N4L-VM DH mainboard we have just got acquainted with one of Intel Viiv platforms based on the mobile Core Duo CPU. Our investigation allows us to draw a few very interesting conclusions.

First of all, I have to state that hardware enthusiasts may find Viiv platform very appealing. This concept allows us to build a fully-fledged desktop system on an originally mobile CPU. So, Viiv breaks the stereotypes and erases the line between desktop and mobile systems.

Secondly, if mainboards similar to ASUS N4L-VM DH become more widely spread, the users get more choices for their platforms. Our tests showed that mobile CPUs can cope very well with desktop workload and at the same time boast a few indisputable advantages over the desktop solutions such as low heat dissipation and power consumption. In other words, ASUS N4L-VM DH mainboard with Intel Core Duo processor is a great choice for an economical and quiet mainstream system. From this standpoint no desktop platform can compete with the victorious tandem.

Unfortunately, ASUS N4L-VM DH mainboard we have reviewed today is not absolutely flawless. Very poor overclocking options offered by this platform didn’t let us investigate the overclocking potential of the Core Duo processor. And the common sense suggests that this processor should be very overclockable. Maybe the overclocking potential of the Core Duo processor could make it an even more attractive solution, than what we have seen today.

However, even the results obtained at nominal frequencies were pretty remarkable. Intel Core Duo processor doesn’t set the world on fire, it cannot be called a pure performance leader. In most cases it yields to some desktop solutions. However, the performance gap is not dramatic at all. Its low heat dissipation and power consumption make up for slightly lower performance. Moreover, Core Duo runs quite fast in a number of applications. It wins in such tasks as final rendering and outperforms the dual-core NetBurst based CPU in games.

Nevertheless, Core Duo has a few more important drawbacks. To our regret it doesn’t support 64-bit extensions that should become essential in 2007 when Windows Vista comes out. This issue makes the use of Socket 479 platforms for desktop segment less appealing. However, I wouldn’t give way to despair: the new Intel processor aka Conroe is just a few months ahead. And it is going to inherit all the strengths of the current Core Duo processor, will acquire 64-bit extensions support and will offer higher performance. And it will definitely turn it into a sales hit.

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