I got this motherboard because it is fanless, and all reviews say that this Dual core (4 thread) ATOM processor is faster than a Pentium 4 for something like a database application and a web server, and that is exactly what this PC will be doing. Reviews also say that this PC also puts some decent performance for an average home PC used for browsing and similar little tasks (Did photoshop CS5 fine for me, but surely, no GPU optimization, did the job but probably too slow for a professional designer).
In any case, this fanless PC turned out as cheap as $137 ($79 For motherboard and processor, $18 for 4GB of RAM, $20 for a case and a small power supply, $20 for a small SATA hard drive). very cheap price wise, and much cheaper on electric with around 20 watts of power compared to the 200 watts the average PC draws ( 1/10 of the power consumption).
And for all i know, the power supply can run fanless when this little power is drawn from it (i did punch a few holes on the top for ventilation and passive cooling), so this is a completely fanless PC that costs $137 (without the monitor).
As soon as the new PC was switched on, i could F7 to update the BIOS, so i did, before we even start,
The motherboard had the bios (MWPNT10N.86A.0083.2011.0524.1600), while the latest bios on the INTEL website dated 10/13/2011 0098 MWPNT10N.86A.0098.EB.EXE so i installed the latest.. everything is working fine up to now.
First of all, i installed a hard drive that already had windows 7 64Bit on the new Motherboard, the drive was on an intel G41 series motherboard (Socket 775), it work right away, windows seems responsive, although it needs activation now.
NOTE: i think, that since this PC uses the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) (The new system replacing Basic Input Output System BIOS, since BIOS is being phased out this year), The Windows 7 Activator by Hazar and Orbit 30 would probably not work, the similar software that would work is probably DAZ loader for Windows 7, and from the feature list i have read, probably Version 2.1 and above.
So, The motherboard booted from a hard drive that was on a G41 motherboard, and it also booted Linux directly from a VIA chipset motherboard with a celeron processor, on that drive i got from the Celeron PC with via chipset, all i needed to do was edit the file in /etc/network/interfaces to use eth3 rather than eth0 (Since the name changes with the new network adapter built in the motherboard) and it seems everything is good to go !
LOAD seems to have gone down,
I installed one 4GB 204 PIN SODIMM DDR3 (The motherboard’s max is 4GB, you can put all 4 in one piece or 2*2).
Anyway, now that this thing replaced the Celeron, i can expect increased performance (Since the Celeron D 331 is based on Pentium four) and some saving in the electric bill (Seriously now, who cares, but it sounds responsible)
For those of you wondering how much those savings could be… here are some estimates since i can never tell for fact (Unless i hook it to my ammeter)
I think the headless / Monitor-less celeron consumed about $10 per month (And this is a very educated guess).
This one will probably consume the same for everything but the processor, which is 13Wat max TDP from a 85W for the celeron
Making the PC consume something around $2 or $3, and therefore i should expect $7 in savings every month, That is, i will get my money back within a year’s time.