FOR THOSE OF you waiting for the first mini-ITX Brazos boards it seems like the long wait is almost over, at least as long as you don’t mind going with a Gigabyte board that is. A picture along with some details of Gigabyte’s first Brazos mini-ITX board has made its way onto the web and it looks like Intel’s Atom processor just got some serious competition on its hands.
The source of the leak is Xbitlabs which has kindly provided us with some additional details about the board as well. The model name of the board which is GA-E350N-USB3 gives away two things, the CPU of choice, namely the AMD E-350 dual core processor and secondly the fact that the board supports USB 3.0. The E-350 processor is clocked at 1.6GHz and features the Radeon HD 6310 graphics and has an 18W TDP. Sadly Gigabyte went for an active cooling solution, but it looks like there’s potential for swapping this for something different, albeit no standard CPU cooler would fit this tiny board.
The chipset to go with the CPU should be the Hudson D1 FCH or Fusion Controller Hub which adds support for four x1 PCI Express lanes, six SATA 3Gbps ports, up to 14 USB 2.0 ports and an integrated clock generator. There’s no support for RAID or Gigabit Ethernet, but the latter could easily be added by a third party PCI Express controller. It’s not quite clear if Gigabyte has fitted a Gigabit Ethernet controller or not, but we’d very much presume so judging by the rest of the specifications of the board.
What we’re looking at around the back appears to be a PS/2 port, two USB 2.0 ports, a DVI and a D-sub connector, an optical S/PDIF out with an HDMI connector below it (the HDMI port has been confirmed by Gigabyte Netherlands), two USB 3.0 ports, two more USB 2.0 ports with an Ethernet port above them and six 3.5mm audio jacks. The board also sports headers for at least two additional USB 2.0 ports, four SATA ports, two full-size DIMM slots for DDR3 memory up to 1800+ MHz according to the labelling on the board itself and a PCI Express x16 slot which appears to have eight lanes worth of bandwidth.
The board is built to Gigabyte’s UltraDurable 3 standards and features dual BIOS chips. Surprisingly the board is also labelled to support Hybrid Graphics which suggests that adding an AMD graphics card of the right type will allow you to still take advantage of the GPU inside the CPU in a hybrid CrossFire setup. Considering the low TDP of the Zacate processor it’s also surprising to see both a 24-pin ATX power connector as well as a 12V AUX, something we wouldn’t expect to see on a board of this type. We’re sure all will be revealed in due time and we’re going to try to get our hands on a review sample as soon as Gigabyte is ready to give us one.S|A
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