Compact All-Rounders: VIA's Eden Mini ITX Format Boards


Completing the trio is the current top model in the VIA EPIA M series, which goes by the name of M9000. Behind the name is a 933 MHz C3 processor and a 133 MHz FSB.

In contrast to the two other boards, the specifications for this board are a real treat: CLE266 chipset permitting the use of DDR226 memory, UltraATA/133 in place of ATA/100, support for 5.1 sound, USB 2.0 and FireWire (only with additional adapter cable). The other features are the same as those of the twins: LAN interface, video out and digital audio out.

Better, although by modern standards not great, is the chipset's graphics subsystem. With the advantage of DDR memory, the CastleRock system is noticeably faster than its predecessors. Also useful is the integrated MPEG-2 decoder.

A quick glance at the board reminds us of our appeal for the abolition of the floppy - the connector is located right in the centre of the board. Either VIA doesn't expect it to be used at all, or the designers couldn't find room for it anywhere else. Presumably a bit of both. However, we don't wish to stress this point too much, as this location might prove useful depending on the application and the case used.

Unlike the first generation EPIA, the M Series has only one DIMM socket. But it should be able to work with one gigabyte DDR DIMMs, thus providing adequate memory resources.

The VT8235 South Bridge is current and offers USB 2.0.