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Intel Pentium M 755 and DFI's 855GME-MGF Review

Author: Ryan Shrout
Subject: Processors
Manufacturer: Intel
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DFI's 855GME-MGF Motherboard

Before we get into the performance numbers on this setup, let's look over the motherboard that is bringing this platform to the desktop in the first place.  The DFI 855GME-MGF motherboard is the first and most dominant 855-based motherboard available for enthusiasts, and is the motherboard that really started the trend that is just now picking up.



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What we see is a micro-ATX motherboard that looks odd in a number of ways.



The 479-pin processor socket doesn't use a standard flip-arm action for processor installation, instead you must use a flat head screwdriver to twist lock the processor into the socket. 



Here is the processor, post installation.  Notice the four mounting holes surrounding the socket; these are used for all heatsink installations. 



The CPU heatsink for this motherboard is included in the box with the board, so you don't have to worry about getting a retail CPU with heatsinks in this case.  The processor heatsink for the Pentium M 755 processor seen here isn't much larger than that used on  the northbridge, which again shows how little power the CPU uses and little heat it actually gives off.



There are two DIMM slots on the DFI 855GME-MGF motherboard to support up to 2 GB of DDR333 memory running in single channel.  The ATX power connector is the only power connection on the motherboard; no 4-pin ATX or molex power slots here.  This is lower power usage hardware!



This is the expansion slot layout on the board: two standard PCI slots, a single PCI-X slot and a 4x AGP slot for your graphics card.  To the left of the slots you can see the Realtek chip that supplies the motherboard with its single, Gigabit network connection. 



Though the storage options are somewhat limited on the 855GME chipset, they should be adequate for most users.  Here are the two IDE channels and two SATA channels to supply you with all the storage options the DFI motherboard can support. 



The VIA VT6307 chip supplies the motherboard with two channels of Firewire support.  Below it (out of shot) is the Realtek ALC655 chip for audio codec purposes. 



The external connectors on the board feature 4 USB 2.0 connections, a single Firewire port, audio output, PS/2 ports and a VGA output for the north bridges integrated graphics, should you choose to use it. 


That pretty much sums up the feature set on the DFI 855GME-MGF motherboard.  There isn't a whole lot to get excited about in raw features, but I think you'll end up finding the performance to be something to talk about.

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