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More Nvidia Ion: Zotac's Mini ITX Mobos

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 12 comments

Zotac has two Nvidia Ion motherboards for the Japanese market

The Nvidia Ion is a cool little piece of tech, giving wings to the humble but lovable Intel Atom CPU.

Acer was the first out of the gate (at least with an official announcement and reveal) with its AspireRevo. Acer’s offering is still the only nettop known so far, but it looks like those who wish to roll their own could have an alternative from Zotac.

Respected Japanese tech site PC Watch details two mini-ITX boards from Zotac based off the Nvidia Ion design: the IONITX-A-U and IONITX-B-E which differ only in their attached CPU offerings.

The “A-U” model will come with the dual-core Atom N330 while the “B-E” will have the single-core N230. CPU inclusions aside, the rest of the specifications are typical Ion with the GeForce 9400M providing the multimedia muscle.

Prices listed for the two motherboard and CPU combinations are around $300 for the dual core and $200 for the single core, after conversion from the Japanese yen.

Zotac refused to provide comment to Tom’s Hardware regarding the North American release of these Nvidia Ion-based products.

HTPC users will be pleased to know that the images of the motherboard clearly show both HDMI and digital audio output options. Imagine putting one of these inside a Wall•E case.

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  • 0 Hide
    jjbtexas , April 22, 2009 3:06 AM
    i want one!
  • 3 Hide
    mrubermonkey , April 22, 2009 3:17 AM
    The prices on them are ridiculous. Granted the TDP is low on these cpus, but real world tests have shown that a lower power desktop platform has similar power and thermal needs as this overpriced ION platform with far greater performance on the cpu side as well. Take the following as an example:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813500022 LGA 775 NVIDIA GeForce 9300 HDMI Mini ITX Intel Motherboard $134.99

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001DCNQ1O/ref=asc_df_B001DCNQ1O775464/?tag=streetprices151-20&creative=380333&creativeASIN=B001DCNQ1O&linkCode=asn E5200 Processor $69.99
  • 1 Hide
    mrubermonkey , April 22, 2009 3:22 AM
    By the way the total for the above two component is under $205 so take that ION. No reason to get that ION for HTPC usage when this alternative is available. The only usage I can for see for that ION is inside a netbook.
  • Display all 12 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    w4ffles , April 22, 2009 4:21 AM
    The Ion belongs in netbooks.
  • 0 Hide
    tacoslave , April 22, 2009 6:59 AM
    like mrubermonkey said those things are priced too high heres what you could get instead of the dual-core version of ion http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128387
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103471
    by the way the price for these 2 components is exactly $300
    your choice quad core and a sick mboard or a shitty atom
  • 1 Hide
    apache_lives , April 22, 2009 8:58 AM
    Hurry up VIA and make your open platform to compete so we can start adding multiple sticks of ram and a video card etc
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 22, 2009 1:36 PM
    I think this is a wonderful solution for a small home pc!
    Only a pitty the system looks much larger than the Acer one.

    I agree if I'd have to pay $200-$300 just for the mobo, that's insane!
    The least they could do is provide a case included .

    But I can understand they probably are starting out, and should lower prices as production and demand meet up.

    I'm especially interested in the performance of the Ion platform powered by the dual Atom processor.
    I understood from previous tests, that the Atom did not have enough power to playback blueray movies (do the decrypting), while the Nvidia graphics card is able to display 1080p HD content.

    I haven't seen many benchmarks of the 2core Atom, so perhaps this system is able to decode blueray disks?

    I'd love to see this atom pc powered by an AMD/ATI Radeon 4670 or something like that! Low power consumption, high power graphics!
    Can you imagine having a Radeon 4670 powered PC, the size of an old VHS video tape? One that has enough processing power to play games like Prince of Persia, or WoW online,yet uses less power than your bedroom lightbulb?
  • 0 Hide
    slyck , April 22, 2009 4:07 PM
    ION sounded pretty sweet when it was first announced. Now that we see the prices, ain't so sweet no more. Just not worth it. Unless you want a netbook that you can game on.
  • 0 Hide
    Shadow703793 , April 22, 2009 4:53 PM
    Reduce the price and I will buy. Should be similarly or a bit higher ($20-25) more than the Intel offerings. When price drops to $80(Single)-130(Dual) then only will I consider buying one.
  • 0 Hide
    danimal_the_animal , April 22, 2009 5:17 PM
    This will make an awesome mythtv front end!!!
  • 0 Hide
    barturtle , April 22, 2009 7:12 PM
    the ION will make for a sweet All-in-one iMac-esque 13" nettop...go, go gadget, KitchenComputer!
  • 0 Hide
    crom , April 22, 2009 7:37 PM
    I don't see any pci-express slots on that board. For an HTPC you're going to need at least 2 to add the tuners. (Sure you can use USB tuners, but I think the PCI-Express ones are better.)