WE’RE NOT QUITE sure we’re following Zotac’s strategy here, but the company has announced a new H55 based mini-ITX board with USB 3.0 connectivity, in China. The H55U3 WiFi as the board is known as builds upon the H55-ITX WiFi, although some changes to the board design have been made alongside some other minor updates.
We managed to dig out the product page for the H55U3 WiFi on Zotac’s Chinese website, but we also spotted some additional pictures over at Expreview for those that are interested in more detail. The basic board layout is much the same as the H55-ITX Wi-Fi, although you can quite easily see from the picture below, that Zotac has taken the opportunity to make some design changes.
There is, of course, a Renesas/NEC USB 3.0 host controller hiding just behind the battery, but the most obvious change is the addition of a rather large heatsink between the rear ports and the CPU socket. The heatsink is used for cooling the MOSFETs, while the chokes have been moved to the bottom of the board on the new model. Zotac also seems to have moved to tantalum capacitors for most of the PWM design, something that should increase cost slightly, but also clears up some space on the PCB.
Some more superficial changes include a different supplier of the Wi-Fi card, a loss of two rear USB 2.0 ports due to the USB 3.0 taking up the space of what was previously a row of four USB 2.0 ports and a change of audio codec from the Realtek ALC888 to the ALC883. The remaining features appear to stay the same as on the H55-ITX WiFi, although there might be some other minor changes that we haven’t spotted. The new board is selling in China for a very affordable 799 Renminbi, or $118. That’s less than what the H55-ITX WiFi is selling for in the US, so fingers crossed that we’ll see a similar price for the H55U3 WiFi is Zotac decides to launch outside of China.S|A
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