AOpen XC Cube MZ855 II Mini PC Review :: Intel Pentium M

09-12-2005 · Category: Hardware - Systems

By Benjamin Sun
  • Clock speed 2.0GHz
  • 64KB L1 cache
  • 2MB L2 cache
  • Price $306 on Pricewatch
  • 90nm
  • 400MHz FSB
  • 855GM chipset
  • Intel Extreme Graphics 2

Intel introduced the Pentium M in 2003. Key features of this new architecture include: increased battery life due to power-saving features, reduced instruction requirements for computing tasks, Intel's Enhanced SpeedStep technology, and higher performance than the equivalent Mobile Pentium 4 at the same clock speed. The Pentium M 755 is clocked at 2 GHz, and has a FSB of 400MHz. Pentium M is built upon the 90nm process. The 755 has 64KB L1 cache and 2MB of L2 cache.

AOpen built their XC Cube M855 II around the Intel 855GME chipset. This chipset supports all Intel Pentium M and Celeron CPUs with a 400MHz FSB. The CPU came in a Socket 479 configuration, that doesn't work on the 875/865/915/925/945/955 platforms for desktop CPUs. The 855GME chipset has support for a single channel of DDR 333MHz memory (you need the 915 mobile chipset to get dual-channel with a Pentium M chipset.).

AOpen XC Cube MZ855 II Mini PC Review Pentium M

Pentium M

AOpen XC Cube MZ855 II Mini PC Review 855GME Chipset

855GME Chipset

AOpen XC Cube MZ855 II Mini PC Review Motherboard


AOpen XC Cube MZ855 II Mini PC Review AGP and PCI


AOpen XC Cube MZ855 II Mini PC Review CPU Socket

CPU Socket

The other part of the equation on the 855GME chipset is the integrated graphics. While the AOpen XC Cube does have an AGP slot, it's only 4X and the height of the XC Cube makes installation of an add-in AGP card limited to half-height low-profile cards only. EG2 has very limited functionality in today's games. Intel's website lists a slew of modern games that are incompatible with the EG2 platform. EG2 is missing pixel shaders, hardware transformation and lighting, and many other modern features found on virtually every graphics card available. Keep in mind; if you're buying this XC Cube, you need to be aware the upgrade options are extremely limited.