This motherboard was designed for the desktop, but features a CPU intended for notebooks. How does it measure up? DMOS puts it under a microscope, and finds something to excite overclockers...but possibly not your average computer user.
Today in the Dev Hardware Labs we're taking a look at the first desktop product I've actually been giddy about for a long time. I've been asking for something like this for quite a while, and now finally my dream has come true. Or has it? After all, nothing, I repeat, NOTHING is ever truly perfect. If it were, you wouldn't need people like me to properly review products and weigh options against one another, would you?
As noted in my article about "Leaner Computing," current processors seem to be scaling towards who can be the equivalent of a nuclear reactor first. That, my friends, is not a "performance" goal; it's a side effect of power budgets being a secondary or less concern compared to clock speed. Intel's own "Netburst" core design had that as its modus operandi. Intel was trying to launch its MHz higher and higher to accomplish two tasks. First, at the time of its introduction the general consumer only looked at the clock speed as an indicator of performance; and second, by scaling through the roof thanks to process technology improvements, actual benchmark performance would also surpass that of the competition.
Unfortunately for Intel, upon their move to 90nm the Laws of Physics took exception to that approach. Prescott thus became more of a home heating device than a processor of information. Within that same company, though, was another option. This one was to be found in their mobile division, squirreled away in laptops meant for easier porting around by consumers. Instead of aiming for mystique building levels of clock speed, the chip was designed to be able to be reasonably competitive while working within a low power envelope.
That translates well to the desktop in this day and age, since its approximately 21W output is easy to dissipate with the equivalent of a north bridge heatsink on a normal motherboard. However, should you feel inclined to budget more towards cooling the processor, suddenly you can add voltage and clock speed to the chip and enjoy the benefits of greater performance. Assuming the power envelope was tripled, that 60W is around HALF of what a top end Prescott outputs.
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