Wednesday, January 13th 2010

Pinetrail Meets Discrete Graphics at Zotac

Zotac is trying out a new nettop design which makes use of discrete NVIDIA GT218 graphics processor with the second generation Atom platform (codenamed Pinetrail). By design, the Intel NM10 chipset which drives the new processor does not give out a PCI-Express x16 link, which leaves a lot to be learned about how Zotac goes about putting its ideas in motion. The company has displayed a non-functional prototype at this year's CES. The discrete graphics will give the nettop sufficient power to display 1080p graphics (which the platform can't, without an external HD video decoder). Zotac may place this as a successor to its MAG series nettops.

Source: The Tech Report
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9 Comments on Pinetrail Meets Discrete Graphics at Zotac

#2
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Makes sense. Let's see how far they can go about overclocking the PCI-E link without blowing up the NM10. The NM10 itself connects to the processor over DMI.
I'm not sure if NM10 gives out PCI-E 2.0, it could be 1.1. I could be wrong.
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#3
Mussels
Moderprator
that is one small PC, could be good

edit: it looks like the size of an average router, which definately makes me interested
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#4
Rexter
by: Mussels
that is one small PC, could be good

edit: it looks like the size of an average router, which definately makes me interested
Its the same size as their MAG computer, techpowerup has a review on it, check it out :p
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#5
Jstn7477
I do own a GT218 that I physically cut to x1, and it didn't appear to suffer too much from using a PCIe 2.0 x1 link. I should do more testing on it, though.
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#6
lemonadesoda
The more I read about pinetrail, the more apparent its crippled design is. Really, what is the benefit of pinetrail in anything other than a NAS box? The GPU end is so weak it is unusable in a laptop/desktop. With interconnectivity being blocked like this, nV cant offer an ION end to compensate, without fugly non-optimal hacks.

TALK ABOUT Intel crippling the design to stop nV grabbing market share of the chipset... but at the same time shooting themselves in the foot.

From everything I have seen, an Atom 330 on ION is faster than the new pinetrail dual Atom, even though 1.6Ghz vs. 1.66GHz, ION provides DDR800 and a major GPU upgrade. ION2 would BLOW intel out of the water... therefore Intel will stop supplying the original 280/330. What's the expression,"cut off your nose to spite your face". They would rather offer something WORSE to the market, so long as they BLOCK nV from providing a better overall solution. Pathetic.

Pinetrail seems like a downgrade UNLESS you will NOT use graphics at all, ie. headless miniserver or NAS type application, in which case, it is about the same performance but with a slightly lower power consumption.

Is Intel trying to KILL Atom in the netbook and promote CULV in 2010?
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#7
DaJMasta
It's my understanding that ION takes the place of the northbridge, if they've got a license with intel to make a chipset that uses DMI, then they can do exactly what they did before.

While I do agree that pinetrail has some signifcant pitfalls, it is certainly an incremental step above diamondville. The reduced power consumption, dual channel memory, and slight increase in graphics performance is a welcome change to me, even though so little else has been changed. In the end intel isn't even trying to compete in the graphics performance area, as they don't see that as a way for netbooks to go in the future or a need now. I disagree with them on not including HD decoding, but otherwise it's a sound premise. nVidia will continue to offer a much faster graphics solution and will undoubtedly come up with something for the new atom. This product seems more like zotac's idea and work than nVidia's.
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#8
[H]@RD5TUFF
by: Roph
Apparently, it uses an x1 link with nvidia branded "optimizations" (read: slightly overclocked).

http://www.semiaccurate.com/2009/12/31/nvidia-ion2-g218-gpu-not-chipset/

Still, while it has some neat features, anything is better than an intel IGP :)

It'd be nice to see ATI develop a more prominent position in this market :(
Sorry but semi accurate is the worst source you could use to make a case about the negatives of this product.:shadedshu
Posted on Reply
#9
[I.R.A]_FBi
by: lemonadesoda
The more I read about pinetrail, the more apparent its crippled design is. Really, what is the benefit of pinetrail in anything other than a NAS box? The GPU end is so weak it is unusable in a laptop/desktop. With interconnectivity being blocked like this, nV cant offer an ION end to compensate, without fugly non-optimal hacks.

TALK ABOUT Intel crippling the design to stop nV grabbing market share of the chipset... but at the same time shooting themselves in the foot.

From everything I have seen, an Atom 330 on ION is faster than the new pinetrail dual Atom, even though 1.6Ghz vs. 1.66GHz, ION provides DDR800 and a major GPU upgrade. ION2 would BLOW intel out of the water... therefore Intel will stop supplying the original 280/330. What's the expression,"cut off your nose to spite your face". They would rather offer something WORSE to the market, so long as they BLOCK nV from providing a better overall solution. Pathetic.

Pinetrail seems like a downgrade UNLESS you will NOT use graphics at all, ie. headless miniserver or NAS type application, in which case, it is about the same performance but with a slightly lower power consumption.

Is Intel trying to KILL Atom in the netbook and promote CULV in 2010?
Thats it actually, theyre trying to make a small space for CULV by widening the gap.
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