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Monday, 22 December 2008 14:53

Jetway NC81-LF mITX tested - 4 Power, Conclusion

Written by Eliot Kucharik

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Review: Nice AM2+ board with BIOS quirks


Power Consumption:

As expected, levels are quite the same with the J&W solution with one difference. We wondered why the heatsink was relativley cool compared to the MINIX board, and the reason is while it's a bit slower, it also consumes 8W less. This is not a gaming platform, so there is no need to overdo it and Jetway found a good balance between performance and power-consumption. Because this board only features a PCI slot we could not test with a serious graphics-card.

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Conclusion:

This board could have been a winner, but the BIOS issues prevented it from going all the way. There are some annoying things like a fan-regulation which was not working properly, Cool and Quiet disabled by default and all the HD3200 overclocking functions will cause corruption on your screen.

The unacceptable issue is the overvoltage of the memory to 1.95V. JEDEC specifies the memory voltage with 1.80V, common settings are 1.85V, but an overvoltage of 0.15V should only be applied by the user. We have mailed Jetway about the issues, and they did fix some of them for our test, but they are not willing to reduce voltage, implement a fan-regulation which will also work with low-powered CPUs and enable Cool and Quiet by default. While most of our readers are familiar with default voltages and how to set a BIOS properly, many people are not.

On the hardware-level there is nothing wrong with this board. It's as fast as you can expect it to be, a bit slower only in 3DMark, but on the other hand keeps power-consumption and heat low. The board is available for about €136,- in Euroland and about $160,- in the U.S. As always, you have to pay a price-premium for mini-ITX, as long as you don't have an Atom dual-core with board which is available for only €67,- but does not support any HD acceleration nor DVI or HDMI. If you can set a BIOS by yourself this board can be recommended, but unfortunately the BIOS issues prevent it from getting an award.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 23 December 2008 08:31
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