Intel’s Bay Trail Atom processor has popped up in plenty of tablets since its launch last September. This month, MSI will release a Mini-ITX motherboard featuring Bay Trail-D, the desktop incarnation of the processor. MSI had the board on display at CES, and Scott was on the scene with a camera and notepad at the ready.
Dubbed the J18001 (catchy, I know), the board features the Atom J1800, a dual-core version of Bay Trail-D with a 10W power envelope. The chip is presumably soldered onto the circuit board, and it’s cooled passively by a pretty small heatsink. I don’t know if that’s the final heatsink MSI will go with, though; pre-production boards shown at trade shows don’t always have the same cooling apparatuses as retail models.
Also included on the J18001 are two DDR3-1333 SO-DIMM slots, what looks like a single PCIe Express x1 slot, two Serial ATA 3Gbps ports, and six USB ports (two USB 3.0 and four USB 2.0). There are DVI, VGA, and HDMI display outputs, all hooked up to Bay Trail-D’s integrated graphics.
MSI plans to have the J18001 out at the end of this month with a price tag somewhere south of $60. A variant of the board with a quad-core Bay Trail-D chip will be out in the January-February time frame. MSI expects to price that model at a $10 premium. Given the small price difference and Bay Trail’s already modest performance, I’d say the quad-core offering is probably worth waiting for.