Dual Core Atom: Intel D945GCLF2 & Atom 330

 Last week, when going through the “what’s new” list of a local supplier, I found a gem: an inexpensive mini-ITX motherboard with a dual core Atom processor. This little marvel, the Intel D945GCLF2, does not even show up on the Intel web site – other than being noted as announced during IDF. Interested in what it was capable of, I bought one on the spot.
The idea of very low power processors that are “fast enough” for many applications is starting to catch on. It would be fair to say that Asus took the world by fire with their original Eee PC, and followed it up with the highly successful Eee PC 901 – spawning a whole new “netbook” category of sub-notebook computers with enough processing power for Internet access and every day tasks. Mind you, Asus dropped the ball by not hitting its initially announced $199 Eee PC price tag, however there are now very capable netbooks around $300, like some models of the Acer AspireOne.

Asus then followed by releasing the Eee Box, bringing low powered tiny desktops to the public – sure they won’t run Crysis, but they will do office apps and internet browsing, for less money, and while only sipping power compared to gaming boxes, and they can save even more money by avoiding the Microsoft Tax, by shipping a friendly Linux distribution pre-installed on the computer.
Low power computers are in fact enough for most people’s use, and make excellent second, third or fourth computers in a family home. After all, how much power do you need to run Open Office and FireFox? Not much.

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