Intel D201GLY2 ITX Motherboard

Author
Aron Schatz
Posted
January 5, 2008
Views
52144
Intel D201GLY2 ITX Motherboard
The D201GLY2 is Intel's latest ITX series board. It combines good power for a great price. Intel has been doing some good things lately and this board is proof.

Page All: Viewing All Pages

Page 1
Intro:

The ITX standard has been around since VIA unveiled it back in 2001. It was a great idea put into use that promised relatively powerful computing in a small and power-efficient package. Unfortunately, the powerful computing part usually doesn't stand up. There have been many new companies pushing into ITX, but most boards are expensive. Enter Intel's D201GLY2. This ITX board pairs an integrated Celeron processor in a package that is less than $80. That's pretty incredible.

Box:

box.jpg


The box is a fairly standard Intel "Essential Series" package.

Parts:

parts.jpg


You get a few CDs that contain Windows only programs, a few cables such as Serial ATA and IDE as well as a manual. Intel also includes a very helpful sticker to place in the case that shows an overview of the motherboard headers.

The Specs:

Code

CPU                     Embedded Celeron 220
Chipset                 SiS SiS662 / SiS964
FSB                     533 MHz
Memory                  1x DDR2 (533/400)
Integrated Graphics     SiS Mirage 1
Expansion Slots         1x PCI Slot
USB                     6x USB
LAN                     Broadcom 10/100 Adapter
Sound                   2 Channel AC97 AD1888 audio codec
South Bridge Speed      1x ATA 133 channel
Serial ATA              2x SATA 1.5Gb/s


The Board:

mobo.jpg


Here is the board in its entirety. You can clearly see how well thought out the board is. It is interesting to see a single PCI expansion slot over a PCIe slot. Usually most people won't be adding anything additional, so this isn't a problem and there are many more pieces of hardware for PCI (for low profile as well) than PCIe for use in this type of application. There is no active cooling on this motherboard. Everything gets its airflow from the case, but the CPU used on this motherboard is pretty power efficient. There is a D201GLY2A which includes an active cooling solution. It is worthwhile to note that this is considered a uATX board since it is the tiniest bit bigger than an ITX board. It should have no trouble fitting in ITX cases, though. This board contains an AUX12V connection.

mobo2.jpg


The board includes two Serial ATA connectors, but those ports only run at the first generation 150MB/s speed. You will see many parts of this motherboard that are castrated to not canalize Intel's more expensive boards. There is a single memory slot that can only take a maximum of 1GB which is another bogus limitation introduced. The third is the Broadcom 10/100 only network chip. There is no gigabit NIC on this board. Fourth, SiS chipset for use in the north and southbridge. While I like SiS, they don't produce great graphics chips and their Linux support is terrible. Intel could have used their GMA type of graphics on the board (that is well supported and fully open), but didn't. The Celeron 220 is really the major point on this board. It may only run at 1.2GHz, but this is a fast board compared to others in its price range.

sis964.jpg


The SiS964 chipset provides the southbridge support for the D201GLY2. Really interesting to see Intel not going with its own chipset for a board it produces. I guess at this price, they aren't concerned about it.

ports.jpg


The board that I'm using has the basic assortment of ports. You can easily get a board that includes S-Video for use with a media center type application. That's the perfect use for this motherboard. I'm surprised to still see Legacy PS/2 ports as well as serial and parallel ports. They could save the space and include more USB and Firewire on the I/O backplane.

If you didn't know the reason that many small board still contain serial and parallel ports, it is because many are used for embedded applications that require communications through them. Yes, it is a big business. VIA still makes the original EPIA motherboard because of embedded applications.
Page 2
BIOS:

bios.jpg


The motherboard is a pretty standard Intel motherboard and the BIOS has the basic options. Nothing too fancy on this one, but you didn't expect to be able to overclock this, did you? The board is indeed running a 1.2GHz Celeron 220 which is based on the Core 2 architecture. This CPU is 64-bit capable.

Testing:

Since this motherboard is really targeted at the small PC crowd, I'll forgo the array of benchmarks normally given to them. I will provide a subjective review of the motherboard.

The testing setup consisted of:

D201GLY2
1GB Kingston Value RAM
160GB WD HDD
Ubuntu 7.10 (Release Version, no updates)

The first thing when you install Ubuntu is the lack of proper video drivers for the motherboard. This is really due to Intel not using its own graphics chipset. The SiS driver that is shipped with Ubuntu doesn't work well at all. A quick search on the internet and a proper patched driver was found. The 2D video works properly with it. Don't expect to use Compiz-Fusion with this motherboard, the driver just doesn't support it.

What is it useful for, then? A regular PC. It handles internet tasks, word processing, spreadsheets, email, music, watching Youtube and all that with no problem. This isn't a high-end gaming machine, that's just not the target market. What the board does is provide a great entry level system for the small PC market.

I did do some comparison between this board and the VIA M2-12000 which is also an ITX motherboard. Needless to say, the Intel counterpart runs circles around the VIA board due to the CPU being wholly better. The only thing that is similar is the video chipset.

For glxgears, the VIA board scored 275 and the Intel scored 303. These scores are fairly close, but I'm also assuming that the SiS driver is still messed up since the gears were choppy. I figure that with new drivers, this board can do 3D with no problem.

For testing the entire subsystem (CPU and Disk I/O) I gzipped a 700MB tar file. The Intel board completed this task in 2 minutes and 11 seconds while the VIA board took 6 minutes and 40 seconds. While the comparison is unfair due to different hard drives, it clearly shows that the Intel board is superior to the VIA board in raw speed.

Conclusion:

I've seen the board for around $70 which is a damn good deal for what you are getting. Let's make no mistake on what this is, though. The product description says it is for the "sub-value" market which means that it is catered for the emerging marketplace. That should sway your decision to purchase this product. Despite the flaws such as the chipset and memory limitation, the motherboard does serve its purpose. It brings a good and cheap ITX motherboard to the masses. You're better off buying this one than the VIA solution if you don't need the VIA features. Intel has really come through lately. I'm glad to see they are branching out into more markets like this.
members/attachments/upload/2008/01/05/2210m.jpg box.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/01/05/2211m.jpg parts.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/01/05/2212m.jpg mobo.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/01/05/2213m.jpg mobo2.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/01/05/2214.jpg sis964.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/01/05/2215m.jpg ports.jpg members/attachments/upload/2008/01/05/2216m.jpg bios.jpg

Title

Medium Image View Large