|ZOTAC IONITX-A-U Atom N330 Wi-Fi N Motherboard Kit|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Sunday, 28 June 2009|
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Zotac IONITX-A-U HTPC Motherboard Review
We all want more for less. That's why enthusiasts overclock, and that's why we build HTPCs. The PlayStation 3 game console has sold millions of units because of its ability to delivery realistic video game performance, but Sony has sold more units because of the PS3's Blu-ray Disc player capability than any other factor. Bringing personal computer technology into the home theater environment has just come one step closer, thanks to the NVIDIA ION platform. The synergistic effect of an NVIDIA GeForce 9400M and the dual-core 1.6GHz Intel Atom process have delivered true high-definition performance beyond any HTPC before it. The Zotac IONITX-A-U packages the Atom N330 CPU and 9400M GPU on a Mini-ITX DDR2 motherboard. Benchmark Reviews discovers how nice it is to have native HDMI connectivity from the HTPC into the HDTV in this article.
For years now I have searched for the true home theater PC, and every time the 'perfect' combination was within reach a critical drawback would snatch it away. My criteria was strict, as a man's home theater is a trophy onto itself. The ideal HTPC needed to allow wireless web browsing and file transfers, display multimedia content over native uncompressed HDMI, and share the ability to play PC video games. Not a very tall order, but no short order by any measure. So while past HTPC projects have come close, the size and functionality have always created limitations. Zotac has helped me build the best HTPC yet, with their Zotac IONITX-A-U Mini-ITX kit.
The problem has always been size and performance. High-performance notebook computers have evolved to the point where they can now replace desktop PC's, so it seems the age of large heavy-weight HTPC has come to pass. Equipped with a capable dual-core Intel Atom N330 1.6GHz CPU for processing power, the Zotac IONITX-A-U easily outpaces most other mobile/compact alternatives. Up to 4GB of 800MHz DDR2 is supported by the 533MHz FSB on a 128-bit memory interface, with Gigabit Ethernet and Wireless-N capability integrated. NVIDIAs ION platform includes the GeForce 9400M GPU, which is perfect for streaming video content over a native HDMI 1.3a connection at high-definition resolutions up to 1920x1440 at 75MHz (1080p is 1920x1080 at 60MHz).
But the list of features is only as good as its ability to perform them without side effects or limitations. In this article, Benchmark Reviews puts the Zotac IONITX-A-U 1.6GHz Atom N330 Dual-Core Wi-Fi-N DDR2 Mini-ITX DDR2 HTPC motherboard kit to the test, and reveals just how well the NVIDIA ION package can perform in other tasks. Video game benchmarks, 1080p uncompressed video playback, and streaming media capabilities are all evaluated with an eye of scrutiny. So will the Zotac IONITX-A-U be the gateway to a perfect HTPC? Benchmark Reviews will soon find out.
About ZOTAC International (MCO) Limited
ZOTAC International is one of the largest producers of NVIDIA VGA and motherboard solutions worldwide.
ZOTAC International (MCO) Limited was established in 2006 with a mission to deliver superb, high quality NVIDIA graphic solutions to the industry. It has strong backing from its parent group, PC Partner Ltd. - with headquarters in Hong Kong, factories in mainland China and regional sales offices in North America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific region. The scale of support ZOTAC provides is currently unrivaled in the world. With 40 surface mount technology (SMT) manufacturing lines, 6,000 workers and a production facility with over 9,000,000 square feet, ZOTAC employs a full array of state-of-the-art technologies and skilled personnel in order to meet your hardware needs. In addition, ZOTAC has over 130 research & development professionals in Hong Kong and mainland China, working to bring you the best from the cutting edge of the industry. ZOTAC's international bases of operation work together to enable effective and efficient global as well as localized sales and marketing support.
ZOTAC doesn't just mean top tier quality, it is also synonymous with high performance, absolute reliability and unparalleled value. With a range of products featuring overclocked performance, excellent cooling properties, and unique packaging ZOTAC products routinely meet - and exceed - users' expectations. ZOTAC's unwavering commitment to our users is to bring the latest products quickly to the market with the best value. Needless to say ZOTAC is the right choice for those who demand the highest quality graphics solutions.