While visiting DFI’s headquarters, TweakTown got a look a prototype motherboard from OEM DFI. The radical design merges both an Intel Atom system with NVIDIA’s ION graphics with a Socket 775 system powered by a Core 2 Duo or Core 2 Quad CPU for the best of both worlds: low-power and high performance.
Some of the ports on the back of the motherboard, like the USB and audio jacks, are shared between the chipsets, and activated when you switch between the systems. Others, like the ION-exlusive HDMI-out, are used only by one of the hybrid setups. Now one system can house both a low-power setup as well as a high-performance one: when you go out for the day, switch to the Atom/ION system to download files or play back media on an HDTV. Come home and want to game? Switch to the much higher performance P45 chipset and load up whatever game you want without having to switch a keyboard or mouse.
As this is a prototype setup, there’s no word on just how much it’s going to cost or when (or even if!) it’ll become available. Personally, I’d like to see them mix the Atom platform with an AM3 or LGA1066 socket. If nothing else, though, it’s a very cool example of what happens when manufacturers start thinking out of the box.