|Intel BOXD945GCLF2D Atom 330 mITX Motherboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by Hank Tolman - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Wednesday, 15 July 2009|
Page 8 of 8
Intel Atom 330 Final Thoughts
In summary, the Intel BOXD945GCLF2 Motherboard/CPU combo has met or exceeded all the standards we had expected of it. It won't replace a Core 2 Duo or better machine, but it will provide a cost effective upgrade for last generation computers. It also has great potential for becoming mainstream in the HTPC market. As for me, I have installed it into my car. I may be looking into another one in the near future, though, for an HTPC. This board has the potential to become my entire home media center.
As good as the Intel D945GCLF2D motherboard is for its $79.99 price tag, there are a few things that I would have liked to see a little differently. For one, another DIMM slot for a total of 4Gb of RAM is a must. Even today's operating systems are requiring that much RAM now. 2Gb just won't cut it anymore. There also needs to be a better GPU, or a PCI-E x16 slot. The GMA 950 is a very old GPU in this market. It does the job, but it's not going to give me that crisp clear 1080p picture that I'm looking for. Granted, to keep the price as low as it is, the graphics are going to suffer. That's why I propose a PCI x16 slot, so I can spend as much or as little for the quality of graphics that I want. Also, get rid of that parrallel port in the back and give me a DVI port. I mean, come on, a parrallel port? Seriously?
Besides that, and a few extra USB or an eSATA port, I can't complain about the board. Really, those items are pretty trivial too once you consider the price. I don't know where else you will find a dual core motherboard/cpu/vga combo for that cheap. And it works perfectly for it's intended purpose. It can browse the internet like nobody's business. It can play music, videos, slideshows with ease. It works great for homework, emails, small business offices. And for all that, it only asks for 8W of power at full velocity. All around, this is one of the best deals you will find for a basic, entry-level computer. I highly recommend it.
If you are in the market for an upgrade for your last generation computer or HTPC, this is the board for you. If you are looking for an inexpensive alternative to a laptop for your office, kid's room, or anywhere else, this is the board for you. If you want to play all the latest games, design your own 3D animation movies, or anything of that nature, this is not the board for you.
The D945GCLF2D motherboard is slightly smaller than the box it comes in. The entire package is pretty plain and simple. It comes with all the desired documentation; everything you need to hook it up and get started.
The Intel Motherboard/CPU combo is definitely a no frills event. There are other boards from a variety of manufactures using the Atom CPU that are colorful, full of eye-catching features, and really just prettier than the Intel board. You won't find anything unexpected (other than a parrallel port) on the I/O panel or the board itself. The IDE, SATA, and DIMM slots are black, the board is green, everything is the color is should be and in the place it should be. No surprises here.
The Intel D945GCLF2D is very well put together. It has got to be hard to fit everything you need for the computer onto such a tiny surface. The machine hold up very well under difficult circumstances as well. I have had it bolted into the back of my car for a couple weeks and it hasn't had any problems. You can tell that this product was made to be affordable, but it is sturdy enough to handle the job.
Performance for it's intended use is no problem. Made specifically for "nettop" systems, this motherboard/cpu combo rises above its humble expectations and truly shines where it counts; performance. While it doesn't support all of the fun gadgets and gizmos that more expensive boards do, it functions perfectly doing what it was made to do.
As of mid-July, you can pick up the BOXD945GCLF2D motherboard/CPU combo at NewEgg for $79.99. While you are there, try finding another dual core motherboard/cpu/vga combo for less. It won't happen. This board is an amazing value. Of course, there are some good deals on the web when you use the Benchmark Reviews Price Shopping Tool. I stated some of my disgruntlements and suggestions for the board earlier, but that in no way diminishes the excellent product for the price. In the world of ultra-mobile, energy efficient computing, Intel has set the bar very high with this one.
+ Very Inexpensive, a Great Value!
- Only 1 DIMM Slot, 2Gb RAM Max
Final Score: 8.65 out of 10.
Questions? Comments? Benchmark Reviews really wants your feedback. We invite you to leave your remarks in our Discussion Forum.