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ASRock Intros Two J2900 Bay Trail Motherboards

ASRock revealed two new motherboards, both of which are based on the Intel Pentium J2900 processor. This is a Bay Trail processor that consumes very little power. Both boards are passively cooled and carry the same processor, but that's just about where the similarities end. The Q2900-ITX is a Mini-ITX board, while the Q2900M is a Micro-ATX board.

The J2900 Bay Trail processor from Intel is a quad-core processor without Hyper-Threading. Its clock speed is set at 2.41 GHz, though it will burst up to 2.66 GHz if the thermal capacity is there. Intel HD Graphics are on board, the core of which runs at 688 MHz and can dynamically boost up to 896 MHz. The processor is manufactured on a 22 nm lithographic process, and will consume up to 10 W. That's what allows it to be passively cooled on these little motherboards.

Now, the Q2900-ITX has only a PCI-Express 1x slot, along with two DDR3 SO-DIMM slots. For storage connectivity you will find two SATA3 (6 Gbps) and two SATA2 (3 Gbps) ports, as well as a single Mini-PCI-Express por, where you can install a wireless radio. Read I/O connectivity is handled by a pair of legacy PS/2 ports, VGA, DVI, HDMI, two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, and 8-channel HD audio along with an optical TOSLINK output.

The Micro-ATX Q2900M has a single PCI-Express x16 slot and two PCI-Express x1 slots. The memory slots are full-size slots, and aboard we only find two SATA3 (6 Gbps) ports. Rear I/O connectivity is identical, except that there is only one USB 3.0 port, and the audio is merely stereo.

Based on these specifications, we'd say that the Mini-ITX board is aimed more towards home use, with the possibility of home theater use, while the Micro-ATX board is intended for simple office PCs.

No word on pricing or availability yet.

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Niels Broekhuijsen is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He reviews cases, water cooling and pc builds.