GIGABYTE J1900N-D3V Visual Inspection

The J1900N-D3V due to the 10W SoC under the hood uses a passive cooler with plenty of surface area to direct heat away. It is interesting that if we compare this cooler to some of the power delivery heatsinks on mainstream boards, this looks more like a cooler than they do, even though those power delivery heatsinks might actually cost more. Because these motherboards fall under the $100 bracket, little attention is paid to the presentation, although GIGABYTE has at least synchronized the heat sink and the slots to match the PCB. Also for cost reasons, the PCB looks very busy – if an engineer can replace a component with two components and still save money, this becomes the mentality for this sort of design. Every component on board is also surrounded by a white box so the automated machines can be guided onto where each IC or resistor should be.

GIGABYTE has placed the 24-pin ATX and 4-pin CPU power connectors at the edge of the motherboard making it easier to use this board in a case, something their mainstream Z77 and Z87 mini-ITX motherboards had trouble doing. At the top of the board with these connectors are the front panel header, an LPT header and a 4-pin SYS fan header. The motherboard has only two fan headers on board – one just above the SoC and a 3-pin to the left of the SoC, with this one labeled ‘CPU’. This is next to a USB 2.0 header in white.

On the right hand side we have a stacked SO-DIMM arrangement, with each module being placed the opposite way round to each other. As with upgradable laptop SO-DIMM slots, the slots have latches to fasten the modules in place. Below this is a mini-PCIe slot, suitable for a half-length WiFi module which is not included. We also get a built in speaker on the bottom right, something we tend not to see in $100+ products.

At the bottom of the board we have the PCI slot which comes from a PCIe to PCI bridge, with two SATA ports above it. This is a frustrating place to put the SATA ports, as it means a user with two devices will have to reach over the motherboard in order to connect them. The connectors also face the same direction, and if the user decides to have locking cables, the cable on the left needs to be removed before the one on the right can be taken out. To the left of these SATA ports is the front panel audio header.

The rear panel has separate PS/2 connectors for a mouse and keyboard, along with two COM ports, a VGA port and a DVI-D port. GIGABYTE has implemented four USB 3.0 ports by using a Renesas hub, and the two Realtek NICs provide an upgrade over the standard configuration. The 2.1 audio solution is provided by a Realtek ALC887 codec.

Board Features

GIGABYTE J1900N-D3V
Price Link
Size Mini-ITX
CPU Interface Soldered
Chipset Bay Trail-D Quad Core
Memory Slots Two DDR3/L SO-DIMM slots supporting up to 8GB
Up to Dual Channel, 1333 MHz
Video Outputs VGA (2560x1600)
DVI-D (1920x1080)
Onboard LAN 2 x Realtek
Onboard Audio Realtek ALC887
Expansion Slots 1 x PCI
1 x Mini-PCIe
Onboard SATA/RAID 2 x SATA 3 Gbps
USB 3.0 4 x USB 3.0 (Hub via SoC) [rear panel]
Onboard 2 x SATA
2 x Fan Header
1 x LPT Header
1 x USB 2.0 Header
1 x mini-PCIe
Front Panel Header
Front Audio Header
Power Connectors 1 x 24-pin ATX
1 x 4-pin CPU
Fan Headers 1 x CPU (4-pin)
1 x SYS (4-pin)
IO Panel 1 x PS/2 Mouse Port
1 x PS/2 Keyboard Port
2 x COM Ports
VGA
DVI-D
4 x USB 3.0
2 x Realtek Network Ports
Audio Jacks
Product Page Link

The GIGABYTE J1900N-D3V splits the four PCIe lanes from the chipset into a mini-PCIe slot, a PCIe to PCI bridge and two Realtek NICs. This is perhaps a good scenario for a machine that needs to be networked, although storage users miss out. Other configurations might have revolved around a SATA controller, a PCIe 2.0 x1 slot or a true USB 3.0 controller. But at the price point, users have to bring along their own WiFi and antenna bracket.

Bay Trail-D Overview GIGABYTE J1900N-D3V BIOS and Software
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  • Factory Factory - Friday, October 17, 2014 - link

    I recently bought the ASRock J1900-ITX for a cheap NAS/HTPC/Steam Home Streaming build, and I have to say I'm really pleased with it. It seemed like a great midpoint between the Gigabyte and Asus boards here: visual BIOS with fan controls, two USB 3.0 ports in back plus a header, DVI and HDMI both, ALC892 with optical audio out, and - this was big for the NAS part - two extra ASMedia SATA ports and a PCIe x1 slot. I stuck another ASMedia-based SATA card in the PCIe slot and shoved the whole thing in a Bitfenix Prodigy with a bunch of drives.

    I almost went with an AM1 build, but I knew that all my media and SHS worked fine with my Bay Trail tablet, and an Athlon 5350 and ASRock AM1H-ITX just didn't seem compelling at $50 more for the set (or even $25 more for an AM1B-ITX) and extra power consumption.
    Reply
  • jospoortvliet - Saturday, October 18, 2014 - link

    Note that unless you load you system all the time, the AM1 might actually have saved you power - idle is lower in most tests than Intel. Reply
  • abufrejoval - Tuesday, October 21, 2014 - link

    Could you please add AM1 idle power figures?

    I've measured 10Watt idle power behind the Pico-PSU power supply for the GIGABYTE J1900N-D3V and 6.3 Watt idle power on the GIGABYTE GA-J1800N-D2H which is the dual core edition without the 2nd GBit port, the Renesas USB 3 hub, serial ports etc.

    Top power consumption in mixed Prime95, Furmark loads including some USB peripherals was 28 Watts for the Quad and 22 Watts for the Dual.

    A Cruical C300 SSD was used in all cases, which doesn't yet support the nice power saving features of the newer Crucial SSDs.

    I've tried shutting down unused peripheral devices (e.g. serial ports, 2nd Gbit Ethernet) and limiting the PCIe speed to gen1 to see whether that had any measurable impact: It didn't for idle.

    I've been an AMD fan for decades, but I'm also trying to stay objective.

    And with regards to idle power and AMD:
    While I've measured surprisingly good idle power values for my first Trinity based APU (A10-5800K) as low as 18Watts with a high-end Asus motherboard, I'm shocked that my Kavery variant (A10-7850K) won't go below 30Watts all measured at behind the PSU.

    At the same time I've measured Gigabyte Brix using Intel A7-4500U CPUs (GIGABYTE BRIX GB-BXi7H-4500U) which achieved 7.5 Watts of idle power, but beat the A10-5800K on pretty much every benchmark, CPU, GPU or both while it didn't exceed 25 Watts of system consumption (vs. 100 Watts for the AMD APU).

    Again I'd love to be able to report otherwise, but compute power per Watt is AMD's high-end weakness and idle power the low-end weakness. Which one is more important depends on your use case but both are currently killer criteria.
    Reply
  • abufrejoval - Tuesday, October 21, 2014 - link

    The coolest thing about the ASrock boards is that they support 16GB of DRAM!

    Officially BayTrail tops out at 8GB but this may turn out to be more of a typical Intel "product castration" feature than a hardware limit. I haven't actually tried this on my GIGABYTE J1900N-D3V and would be afraid, that the BIOS might still limit that board to 8GB, but I've seen reports of people using ASRock Q1900B-ITX or ASRock Q1900M (includes a physical PCIe x16 slot with x1 connectivity) with 16GB of DRAM.
    Reply
  • mjnhstyle100x - Friday, October 17, 2014 - link

    The power consumption delta is something I do not like. I rather see the idle and load instead. The idle tells me how much my "nas/htpc" system will consume while doing nothing. the load tells me what is the absolute worse it will consume. this allows me to weigh the options better on power consumption basis, not the delta as that's not what is going to matter when the system is going to be idling for prolonged periods.
    The power consumption delta is something I do not like. I rather see the idle and load instead. The idle tells me how much my "nas/htpc" system will consume while doing nothing. the load tells me what is the absolute worse it will consume. this allows me to weigh the options better on power consumption basis, not the delta as that's not what is going to matter when the system is going to be idling for prolonged periods.
    Reply
  • anactoraaron - Friday, October 17, 2014 - link

    I decided to flip back and forth to compare the 3770 and 3740 Bay Trail T to the Bay Trail D... It's surprising how well the lower powered T fares when compared to the D. Reply
  • rootheday3 - Friday, October 17, 2014 - link

    Table on page 1 says Baytrail graphics has 6 EUs => not correct; Baytrail only has 4EUs. Reply
  • duploxxx - Friday, October 17, 2014 - link

    poor poor Bay-trail GPU, only half the performance of the competing AMD part. No wonder Intel lost money in that segment. You would expect that in 2014 Intel would understand that graphical is actually what you see and use these days. Even CPU it is not faster. This is again a moment like the brazos part, this was also way better then the atom, yet the djingle and oem designs forced everybody to buy that peace of crap because there were only few brazos designs.

    pitty that we dont see amd mullin tablets for x86, no those OEM yet have to get money to be convinced from intel because they know they get poor cpu designs............... and then complain the market does not accept these tablets, i have a crapy atom tablet here which now is just a radio station, no added value at all for anything else

    consumers are losing as usual.
    Reply
  • silverblue - Friday, October 17, 2014 - link

    Apparently, the A6-6310 has a 15W TDP and a much faster GPU, using just over half the power of the 5350. Its base clock is 250MHz lower at 1.8GHz, but has a 2.4GHz turbo. The A5 is also enabled this time around.

    I'd really like to see one of these go through some thorough tests on AT; could make for a very interesting little machine. It's just a shame that they have gone for faster RAM over a dual channel controller, but the controller itself uses less power than before which is helpful.
    Reply
  • abufrejoval - Tuesday, October 21, 2014 - link

    Running PC games on the box isn't a lot of fun fore sure, but running Android x86 gave quite another picture: The GPU may not be able to hold water against PC GPUs but it's quite powerfull enough for any Android game and benchmark that I tried, at least at 1080p.

    Tons more CPU power than the Snapdragon 800 on my Galaxy Note 3 and GPU performance in the same region.

    Sure the Snapdragon would never dream of burning 10Watts of power for that performance, but the GIGABYTE GA-J1900N-D3V isn't meant to be carried in your pocket. As high-end HDMI stick alternative, it doesn't do too badly.

    Nor as a Windows or Linux desktop for office work.

    With Lollipop we might see these use cases merge and full desktop office suites like Softmaker's will do the transition.
    Reply

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