All of the current speak of Haswell-E and excessive-finish refreshes has obscured the extra informal computing market. The Bay Path platform makes use of Intel’s Atom based mostly Silvermont cores and competes immediately towards AMD’s Kabini for built-in computing, digital signage and low cost computing fashions. At present we examine two mini-ITX Celeron J1900 based mostly motherboards: the GIGABYTE J1900N-D3V at $eighty five and the ASUS J1900I-C at $ninety two, in addition to the SoC itself.
Bay Path-D Overview
Intel’s Atom Silvermont based mostly structure covers 4 SoC areas:
– Smartphones, within the type of Merrifield and Moorefield
– Tablets, Notebooks and Embedded within the type of Bay Path
– Microservers and Storage within the type of Avoton
– Community and Communications within the type of Rangeley
We examined the C2750 eight-core Avoton SoC within the ASRock C2750D4I, a system oriented round most DRAM and storage in a mini-ITX type issue, and reported on GIGABYTE’s 46x C2750 Avoton server again at Computex 2014. The microserver market is seemingly ripe for Avoton, however Bay Path makes the desktop and pill areas slightly extra complicated.
Bay Path is available in 4 varieties:
– Bay Path-D, for Desktop Techniques at 6W to 20W
– Bay Path-I, for Embedded and Automotive at 5W to 10W
– Bay Path-M, for Cellular and Netbooks at 4W to 7.5W
– Bay Path-T, for Tablets and Hybrids at 2W
We now have coated Bay Path in Cellular and Tablets, such because the ASUS Transformer Guide T100 that has the Atom Z3740 Bay Path-T, however the informal desktop area continues to be an fascinating market. ECS’ LIVA is an ideal instance of this: Ganesh’s assessment of the LIVA with the four.5W Celeron N2806 Bay Path-M exhibits that with sufficient innovation, some fascinating designs may be produced.
Right now’s evaluate focuses on the Celeron J1900, a quad core 10W Bay Path-D with Intel Ivy Bridge HD Graphics (6 EUs). The CPU has a base frequency of 2.zero GHz with a 2.forty two GHz Turbo mode, 2 MB of L2 cache and help for twin channel DDR3L-1333. The J1900 was one of the targets of AMD’s AM1 Kabini launch earlier within the yr, the place the 2 traded blows on performance:
AMD’s most important energy level for Kabini was the upgradable platform, as a consequence of Intel’s Bay Path involving soldered on CPUs. Reminiscence compatibility is traded, with Intel supporting twin channel however at a decrease frequency. Worth can also be a battleground, together with GPU cores, though Intel makes use of considerably much less energy (on paper).
As a result of Bay Path-D is a BGA processor, which means the processor and motherboard have to be bought in tandem. There are a selection of Bay Path-D mixtures out there for buy:
$200 – Jetway JNF9M-2930 (Celeron N2930, Bay Path-M)
$one hundred fifty – Habey MITX-6771 (Celeron J1900, Bay Path-D)
$118 – ASRock Q1900TM-ITX (J1900)
$ninety nine – ASRock Q1900DC-ITX (J1900)
$eighty five – GIGABYTE J1900N-D3V (J1900)
$eighty – ASUS J1800I-A (Celeron J1800, Bay Path-D)
$seventy nine – ASUS J1800I-C (J1800)
$seventy six – ASRock Q1900-ITX (J1900)
$seventy five – Foxconn D190S (J1900)
$70 – ASRock Q1900M (J1900)
$70 – ASRock Q1900B-ITX (J1900)
$sixty three – Biostar J1800NP (J1800)
$60 – ASRock D1800M (J1800)
$60 – ASRock D1800B-ITX (J1800)
$60 – ASUS J1800I-C (J1800)
Thus for this assessment, we selected two of what is perhaps the preferred Bay Path-D motherboards for house builds: two mini-ITX techniques, the GIGABYTE J1900N-D3V and the ASUS J1900I-C. Each of these use the Celeron J1900 processor, whereby the J1900 sits within the center of Intel’s Bay Path-D choices however is the highest SKU with the Celeron nomenclature:
4 Silvermont cores at 2 GHz for 10W sounds spectacular, particularly once I assume again a decade to what I had again at college, or the 35W Core 2 Cellular CPU I had in my final laptop computer. As we discovered with the C2750, single thread velocity must be affordable and whereas multithreaded purposes can take benefit, it doesn’t substitute an i3, however finally that isn’t the meant market. Each the GIGABYTE J1900N-D3V and ASUS J1900I-C are going for that base desktop market, the place ‘some reminiscence’ and ‘some storage’ are wanted, comparable to digital signage, a primary HTPC or run-of-the-mill all-entry authorities machines.
It’s value noting that for Bay-Path D, there are two steppings of the processors:
The new C0 stepping permits Intel Fast Sync for use, however except for the change in stepping (B3 to C0) there isn’t a different outward indication which model goes for use until you’re a buyer that offers with Intel instantly. Despite the fact that our samples on this evaluation have been new, each contained the B3 stepping model of the SoC.
However, some of the Bay Path-D SKUs to return with a type of Intel Burst, permitting elements of the SoC to turbo relying on how energy is required:
The Bay Path Chipset
Comparable with AM1, the mixing of the IO into the SoC means there isn’t any formal south bridge to distribute the ports and all routing is by way of the SoC:
Right here the System Agent negotiates knowledge between the twin channel DDR3L reminiscence controllers, the Silvermont twin core ‘modules’ and the graphics, provided as 6 EUs based mostly on the Ivy Bridge video structure. As a result of the Bay Path SoC helps far fewer I/O connections in comparison with our standard foray into shopper based mostly motherboard/CPU mixtures, a mini-ITX is sufficient to virtually match all of them.
The full block diagram for the J1900N-D3V is:
The SoC permits 4 PCIe 2.zero lanes from the chipset, which the producer can use community connections or different IO controllers for. Right here GIGABYTE has used two for Realtek NICs, one for a PCIe to PCI bridge and a mini-PCIe for a WiFi card or comparable. The SoC helps two SATA three Gbps and a single USB three.zero port, with this GIGABYTE motherbaord utilizing a Renesas hub on that USB three.zero to increase the providing to 4.
Right here is the place Bay Path comes throughout a problem. The system is designed to be low cost and competing with Kabini, which means that motherboard producers can’t fill the product up with controllers that value quite a bit. It will be fascinating if the PCIe lanes have been used for extra SATA controllers, permitting for a big storage system, however that finally ends up being precisely what the C2750D4I is. Additionally, the choice right here on the GIGABYTE to make use of a PCI slot can be for legacy use, as the newest graphics card obtainable that makes use of PCI can be a HD 5450 or GT610/430.
Legacy connectors are all the time a sensitive topic. Some motherboard evaluations on merchandise with a PS/2 or PCI slot may find yourself with a remark questioning why they nonetheless exist. The reply lies in business, as a result of upgrading that $1,000 PC is cheaper than upgrading the $5,000,000 bit of 15-yr previous gear it’s related to. Bay Path-D, despite the fact that is obtainable to the general public, has a use in these motherboards for business, so GIGABYTE and ASUS should cowl the bases. There are a couple of key factors to think about on this respect:
– Does it have the proper connectors?
– Does it value lots?
– Is it straightforward to arrange?
– Is it responsive sufficient?
– Will it compute as a lot as is required in an inexpensive time?
The final two factors find yourself being the standard purpose for upgrading. For instance, again within the lab I labored in a number of years in the past our classic gear (an older model of this) ran on Pentium four machines however required a legacy slot for the proprietary communication and management card it ran on. With a purpose to improve, it needed to meet the above standards. For this reason legacy nonetheless exists.
Again to the assessment: we’re placing each the GIGABYTE J1900N-D3V and the ASUS J1900I-C via their paces for usability in addition to the J1900 SoC for responsiveness. These boards are within the $eighty five-$ninety five mark, offering a aggressive worth level towards AMD’s Kabini. Motherboards on the cheaper finish of the spectrum are typically labored on by much less individuals, purely as a result of the revenue margins are low. Each the motherboards on this assessment are coping with the truth that they’ve to incorporate the SoC on the motherboard on the level of sale. Intel lists the worth of the J1900 as $eighty two, which means that these SoCs are literally bought at a reduction or in a reduced-income technique, or the motherboard producers are getting them severely discounted as a way to make cents per sale.
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