Jetway NC96FL-510-LF Review (Page 3 of 12)

Page 3 - A Closer Look, Board Layout, Test System

Jetway takes a no-frills approach when designing and executing the NC96FL-510-LF mini-ITX motherboard. Using a traditional green colored printed circuit board measuring in at 17cm by 17cm in standard mITX form, the Jetway NC96FL-510-LF features electrolytic capacitors rather than solid state capacitors as well -- it certainly does not have anything fancy in particular. Not that we expect it anyway, haha. A large aluminum heatsink near the center of the mini-ITX covers a significant portion of the motherboard, providing cooling to the onboard Intel Atom D510 processor and NM10 chipset. No cooling fan is included out of the box.

Located near the bottom right corner are the storage ports. The Intel NM10 chipset provides native support for two Serial ATA ports, located between the heatsink and PCI slot. JMicron's JMB363 provides two additional Serial ATA and one floppy drive connector, which can be found to the right of the two DDR2 memory slots, as shown in our photo above. The JMicron controller supports RAID 0, 1, 0+1, and JBOD, but the Intel NM10 chipset itself does not feature Intel's Matrix Storage Technology. From my experience with this board, it seems that the native Intel SATA ports work a little smoother. The front panel headers should be fairly straightforward -- interesting to note is that there are two power LED headers for different cases; this includes both a 2-pin and 3-pin configuration. A separate block contains the speaker connector pins, although the Jetway NC96FL-510-LF already has a built in speaker -- we will show you that in just a moment.

Two DDR2 RAM slots are placed next to the aluminum heatsink, as aforementioned. While there are two DIMM sockets, due to chipset limitations you will only be able to run them in single channel mode. Installed memory is designed to run at DDR2-667 to DDR2-800 (PC2-5300 to PC2-6400) with up to 8GB capacity. Two 3-pin fan headers can be found to the left and right side of the RAM slots; the CMOS battery is installed vertically between the left fan header and DIMM sockets to save room. Internal 18-bit single channel LVDS connector and its inverter are located above the large aluminum heatsink on the Jetway NC96FL-510-LF mITX motherboard. If you don't know what a LVDS connector is, it is an internal digital interface for laptop LCD screens. A 4-pin Molex power connector is to be used in conjunction with an included cable to provide power to two internal SATA and one floppy disk drive, since the Jetway NC96FL-510-LF motherboard takes 12V power input directly from a DC power supply. Of course, if you plan on building a NAS with this motherboard, stringing four desktop hard drives through a single Molex might be pushing the limit. Laptop hard drives should be fine due to lower power consumption, but you are going to lose out on performance and capacity.

On the left side of the aluminum heatsink is a Mini-PCIe slot, for use with components such as internal wireless cards. The main expansion slot is a PCI slot, which is quite surprising since it is already 2010 that we are writing this review, having a PCI slot as the primary expansion socket has very limited use. A built in speaker is located between the yellow PCI slot and the Mini-PCIe slot as aforementioned. A Realtek RTL8111DL chip can be seen here to provide support for the Jetway NC96FL-510-LF's Gigabit Ethernet port over its internal PCI Express interface. Located within close proximity is Realtek's RTM875T-605 clock generator chip, and the board's third 3-pin fan header. The Jetway NC96FL-510-LF also has three internal USB headers located between the PCI slot and NM10 chipset, as well as a front panel audio header just to the left of the PCI slot.

Shifting our focus a little down, a Fintek F71869ED chip comes into view. This application specific integrated circuit provides system data on fan RPMs, voltages, and temperatures. Miscellaneous headers include an internal GPIO and COM2 connector; both can be seen in our photo above. Overall, the Jetway NC96FL-510-LF is a fairly simple motherboard by today's standards; and the layout is generally straightforward. I would certainly appreciate it if the internal USB headers as well as the two SATA ports native to the NM10 chipset were placed closer to the edge (Or at least swapped places with the JMicron powered SATA ports for the latter), but other than that, neat cabling can easily be executed with this mini-ITX motherboard.

The Jetway NC96FL-510-LF features a pretty standard Intel NM10 chipset based motherboard connector configuration at the back panel. From the top, we have a DC 12V power input, PS/2 ports for both keyboard and mouse, parallel port, serial port, VGA port (No DVI available due to chipset limitations), four USB ports, Gigabit LAN, and three 3.5mm jacks. Video is provided by the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3150 on the D510 processor. The Intel NM10 chipset has native support for up to eight USB 2.0 ports, and the Jetway NC96FL-510-LF has seven -- four external as shown, plus three internal headers -- but personally I would prefer more USB ports in place of mostly unused legacy ports such as the PS/2 connectors (It is important to note that some commercial applications may still have use for the legacy serial and parallel ports). The 3.5mm jacks at the back are powered by Realtek's ALC662 audio codec for up to 6-channel output; where two of these jacks can be configured as multichannel output in addition to default line-in and microphone inputs. It probably won't be a big issue even when configured for multichannel output, since most chassis has front panel input jacks anyway.

We benchmarked the Jetway NC96FL-510-LF motherboard with the following system configuration:

CPU: Intel Atom D510 (Embedded - 10*166, 1.66GHz, 1MB L2, 45nm Pineview, Hyper-Threading enabled)
CPU Cooling Integrated (Motherboard)
Graphics: Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3150 (Integrated)
Memory: OCZ Reaper HPC PC2-8500 2x1GB @ DDR2-800 5-5-5-15 2T
Chassis: Apex MW-107
Power: 60W DC
Sound: Realtek ALC662 (Integrated)
Optical Drive: None
Hard Drive: Hitachi 160GB 5400RPM SATA
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional x64

Page Index
1. Introduction, Features, and Specifications
2. Bundle, Chipset, BIOS
3. A Closer Look, Board Layout, Test System
4. Benchmark: EVEREST CPU
5. Benchmark: EVEREST FPU
6. Benchmark: EVEREST Memory
7. Benchmark: PCMark Vantage
8. Benchmark: 3DMark06 Professional
9. Benchmark: PassMark PerformanceTest 7.0
10. Benchmark: SuperPI 1M, Cinebench R11.5
11. Onboard Sound Frequency Analysis
12. Power Consumption and Conclusion