Zotac NVIDIA Ion Motherboard: SFF Goodness
Mini-ITX and Other Possibilities
The Zotac Ion motherboard ships with an interesting array of accessories in its bundle.
Along with the board itself, we found a trio of SATA cables, an I/O shield, a WiFi antenna, a fan, and of course a user's manual and drive disc. In addition to these items though, Zotac also includes an external power supply and an adapter cable that converts a four-pin peripheral connector to three SATA power connectors. One end of the peripheral connector plugs into the motherboard itself, which feeds the three SATA power connectors. The external PSU plugs into a jack in the board's I/O backplane, as we showed you on the previous page.
The Zotac board's inclusion of DC to DC power circuitry is interesting in that it opens up the possibilities of using other DC power sources to supply juice to the board. It also offers more flexibility to end users when shopping for a mini-ITX enclosure because a case mounted PSU is no longer necessary.
ATX Mid Tower > Mini-ITX > Apsire Revo
Speaking if mini-ITX enclosures, we thought we'd give you all some visual aids to really show just how small the form factor is. We've talked about mini-ITX many times in that past, but haven't made any direct comparisons to put things into proper perspective.
What you see pictured above is a standard ATX mid-tower standing next to a mini-ITX enclosure and the NVIDIA Ion-based Acer Aspire Revo. As you can see, the physical dimensions of the mini-ITX box are significantly smaller than the mid-tower. And the custom Revo takes things down even further. We should also mention that a plethora of other mini-ITX options are out there as well, that shrink things down even further than the mini-ITX box pictured here. Some mini-ITX enclosures make use of slim-line mobile optical drives, or do away with drive bays altogether.