Zotac NVIDIA Ion Motherboard: SFF Goodness - HotHardware

Zotac NVIDIA Ion Motherboard: SFF Goodness

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NVIDIA's Ion platform generated quite a buzz when news first broke of the company's plans late last year. As such, we've been keeping on top of Ion-related developments and have posted a number of stories related to Ion, beginning with our coverage of the platform at this year's Consumer Electronics Show. We followed that up with an evaluation of NVIDIA's own Ion reference system, and a few weeks back took a look at the first design win announced for the platform, the Acer Aspire Revo.

Today though, we're going to take a look Zotac's brand new Ion-based motherboard. What makes this product interesting to us is that it's the first one designed for the do-it-yourself crowd looking to assemble their own small form factor systems. The model we're going to feature here is outfitted with a dual core Atom N330 processor, integrated WiFi and HD audio, and of course the NVIDIA Ion platform processor. Zotac's Ion motherboard has a few other tricks up its virtual sleeve as well, but we're not going to give everything away right here. Read on for the full scoop and check out what has the potential to be one of the more sought after mini-ITX platforms released to date...


Zotac's Ion Motherboard

Zotac Ion Motherboard
Specifications and Features

Motherboard

Zotac IONITX-A

CPU

Intel Atom 330, soldered onboard

CPU Cores

2 (Dual-Core)

CPU FSB

533 MHz

GPU / Chipset

NVIDIA ION

GPU Engine Clock

450 MHz

Shader Clock

1100 MHz

DirectX Support

DirectX 10

Size

Mini-ITX Form Factor, 6.7in (170mm) x 6.7in (170mm)

Cooling

Passive (Quiet), Additional fan included, installation optional

Memory Type

Dual-Channel DDR2

Memory DIMM Sockets

2 x 240-pin DDR2 SDRAM

Memory Speed

667 MHz / 800 MHz

Maximum Memory Size

4 GB

Storage

3 SATA 3.0 GB/s ports, 1 e.SATA 3.0 GB/s port, SATA RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 1 MOLEX power connector (powers up to 3 SATA devices)

Display Connectors

VGA, HDMI, DVI

# of Monitors Supported

2

USB Ports

10, (6 on back panel, 4 via pin header)

Bus Connectors

1 Mini PCIe Slot

HDTV Support

720p, 1080i, 1080p

HDMI 7.1-Channel Audio

Yes

Audio

Realtek ALC662 (5.1 channel HD Audio)

Digital S/PDIF Outputs

1 Optical, 1 Coaxial

HD 5.1 Audio

1 HD Audio Port, (Line-in, Line-out, Mic-in)

Ethernet

10/100/1000 Mbps + WiFi

PS/2 Keyboard Port

Yes

WiFi Support

802.11n (Optional)

Additional Features

90W AC/DC Adapter, PureVideo HD, Blu-Ray Playback, Solid Caps


We've posted a number of articles related to NVIDIA's Ion platform here at HotHardware in the last few months. We've gone in-depth on many of the platform details in those previous articles, so we won't do the same again here. If, however, you'd like to brush up on some of the specifics, we'd recommend taking a peek at these HotHardware articles:

The Acer Aspire Revo is the most recent article, with coverage of the first design win NVIDIA announced for the Ion platform. In our NVIDIA Ion Reference PC Platform Deep Dive article, we cover the details of NVIDIA's reference ultra small form factor Ion PC, and in our GeForce 9300 / 9400 mGPU coverage, we cover all of the pertinent details regarding the NVIDIA Ion chipset itself.

Article Index:

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Seems a bit pricey for the performance you really get. Still a very cool board. I could see that second core really helping out. While the Atom is "fast enough" it feels very limiting in what you can do with it.

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What is the mini-ITX enclosure at the very bottom of page 3 of the review?

I have been considering this motherboard in a build but can't find any cases I like that don't feature a PSU of some sort already included which makes the PSU in the case redundant and an added cost. The one at the bottom of page 3 appears to be relatively small and I imagine without a PSU due to its size.

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That case is the iStar S3 Storm...

http://www.chiefvalue.com/product-_-productdetails.cv_-_item--CE00005336010060

It does come with a PSU, but it is external.

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