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Nehemiah M10000 Review
Posted on May 19, 2003

Box Contents

Box Contents

In common with all EPIA Ms, the Nehemiah M10000 comes with 7 items in the box: The driver and utilities CD, user manual, floppy cable, ATA-33/66/100 HD cable, an I/O panel, the motherboard itself and a combo 2xUSB 2.0 and 2xFirewire module that fits into an empty PCI slot.

Bundled Software

The included driver and utilities CD includes FliteDeck - a package of utilities provided with newer VIA Mainboards.


MissionControl is a motherboard monitoring tool with SNMP remote monitoring support. It measures and plots graphs of voltages, CPU temperature, fan speeds and memory allocation amongst other things, and has configurable alerts.


FlashPort is a Windows based application that displays BIOS specific information and can backup and restore the BIOS to and from a .BIN file. Personally, we'd rather make a bootable CD and flash using DOS, but if you really have to use this, restart your PC first and run it in safe mode.

SysProbe isn't particularly exciting - most of the system information it displays is already available elsewhere in Windows in a different order. Download Sisoft's Sandra instead.

JetStream isn't part of the EPIA M's FliteDeck release. It's a performance tuning tool available to other modern VIA boards, not really applicable to the EPIA M.

The Nehemiah C3 CPU

Nehemiah C3 CPU in EBGA package

Nehemiah is the next generation C3 CPU, and features a number of improvements over the Ezra-T C3 used in all previous EPIAs. It has The 20.5 million transistors, and uses a 0.13 micron process. For comparison, a Barton Athlon or Northwood Pentium 4 have about 55 million transistors, and recent GPUs have over 100 million transistors.

The Nehemiah is designed to work at clock speeds of 1GHz and beyond - the Ezra-T is designed at up to about 1GHz.

Nehemiah has a die size of 52mm2 - the world's smallest x86 processor. It has been designed to minimize power consumption and optimise heat dissipation - VIA call this "Coolstream". Some active cooling is still required, but not very much. Let's hope for a Nehemiah Eden C3 version.

The Nehemiah features SSE instructions instead of the 3DNow! instructions featured on previous C3s. This should bring enhanced performance in 3D applications, which are optimised for more modern SIMD instruction sets. SSE optimised image processing applications should also benefit.

Full Speed FPU - the Nehemiah has a full speed floating point unit for the first time. The Ezra-T has a half-speed FPU. Floating point calculations are used heavily in 3D rendering, multimedia, and streaming applications.

Enhanced 64KB Full-Speed Exclusive L2 cache with 16-way associativity. An exclusive L2 cache gives a larger effective total cache size as it doesn't replicate the contents of the L1 cache. The more cache available, the more chance there is that program loops can run in cache and not comparatively slow main memory.

StepAhead Advanced Branch Prediction - Looks ahead and gathers the data needed to optimally run applications

A hardware based random number generator (RNG) has been added. This creates true random numbers from the random electrical noise on the chip. This is of much use in security applications, allowing a strong cryptographic key to be generated. VIA call this the "PadLock Data Encryption Engine".

Future Nehemiahs will feature IO/APIC support. An Advanced Programmable Interrupt Controller (APIC) provides multi-processor interrupt management - dual processor EPIA anyone?

The Nehemiah is available in EBGA or Socket 370 packages - both are low profile and require less board real estate.

The Apollo CLE266 Chipset -->

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