MINI-ITX IS WITHOUT a doubt a hugely popular form factor these days and we spotted three new boards at the Asus booth. Two of them have an Atom processor, one uses ION 2 for graphics and the third is based on AMD’s 880G chipset. All have some rather unique features and selling points, depending on your needs.
First up we have the AT5IONT-I Deluxe which is home to an unspecified Atom D series processor, Intel’s NM10 chipset and Nvidia’s ION 2 graphics. As the board supports DDR3 800MHz memory, it should be home to either an Atom D425 or D525. You’re limited to using SO-DIMMs due to the board being littered in components.
Asus has managed to add Wi-Fi via a half length mini PCI Express card, Bluetooth via a small dongle around the back and the board does, of course, also offer up a pair of USB 3.0 ports. HDMI and DVI ports are also present alongside an Ethernet port, a couple of USB 2.0 ports, an optical S/PDIF, three audio jacks and even a pair of PS/2 ports. Finally it has two SATA ports, an open ended x4 PCI Express slot, and it’s powered by an external power brick. The entire board is passively cooled by three heatpipes and a rather oversized heatsink that covers most of the board.
The 880G board is known as the M4A88T-I Deluxe and sports similar features to the AT5IONT-I Deluxe, although the Wi-Fi module connects via a USB header as this takes up less space. This board also has a pair of SO-DIMM slots, but should support faster DDR3 memory than the Atom board. Bluetooth and USB 3.0 is also part of the package.
Asus has crammed in even more around the back of this board as you get an HDMI and DVI port, optical and coaxial S/PDIF, four USB 2.0 ports, eSATA, a single PS/2 port and an Ethernet port in addition to what we already mentioned. This board also has three SATA ports and a full-size x16 PCI Express slot. This board requires a desktop power supply to work, unlike the Atom board.
The last of the three boards we spotted was a “server” board called the Hummingbird which is powered by an Atom D510 processor. It has two DDR2 SO-DIMM slots and a x1 PCI Express slot. It also sports four SATA ports, an onboard USB 2.0 ports, two “server class” Ethernet ports, an onboard remote access processors with its own dedicated Ethernet port and a pair of USB 2.0 ports as well as a serial port around the back.
We should be seeing a lot more mini-ITX boards this week as the show progresses but there’s no doubt that the mini-ITX standard is gaining ground quickly. Some of the implementations are a little bit on the expensive side though and we doubt that either of these boards from Asus will be sub $100.S|A
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