Asus' ingenious little device that lets one run a Pentium M processor on a Socket 478 motherboard has made its way to several sites for review, and the initial reviews are positive. We recently looked at the performance of the Pentium M on the desktop using DFI's 855GE-MGF motherboard, but that board is limited by its single channel of DDR333 memory and mobile-oriented chipset. Asus' socket adapter gives the Pentium M access to mobos with dual-channel DDR400 memory and better overclocking options.
Both Legit Reviews and AnandTech have taken the Asus adapter for a spin, and they agree that the adapter, paired with the right motherboard, is a better choice than DFI's board, both for performance and value.
I was surprised, however, to see Anand's conclusions about the Pentium M's overall suitability as a desktop part:
As a gaming platform and as a general purpose/office machine, the Pentium M does fairly well, but it is in content creation, workstation and media encoding applications that the Pentium M continues to fall behind. . . . But even at 2.56GHz, the Pentium M wasn't a competitive CPU when it came to tasks like media encoding, indicating that if the Pentium M is to succeed on the desktop, it's going to need some architectural improvements.No doubt the Pentium M isn't the fastest at everything, but if situation were reversed and the Pentium 4 were crossing over from the mobile space, I have to wonder if the same logic wouldn't lead one to conclude that the Pentium 4 wasn't suited for the desktop because of its relatively weak gaming performance. The desktop segment isn't all about media encoding and SPECviewperf, after all. Anand surely has his mind on the Pentium M's possible future as a basis for Intel's next-gen desktop processors, but might he be underemphasizing its current strength as a result?
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