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Zotac's Ion-Based Mini-ITX Board For Atom Debuts

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the underseat-entertainment-box-for-the-subaru dept.

Intel 106

MojoKid writes "There have been a handful of NVIDIA Ion-based products with Intel's Atom processor that have been unveiled recently, ranging from NVIDIA's own reference system, to the Acer Aspire Revo SFF PC. Today Zotac announced an Ion motherboard that will be appealing to the DIY crowd. The design of this IONITX-A model board tested and reviewed here in particular, offers some very interesting features, not the least of which is its DC power input with an external power brick. It also is built on Intel's dual core Atom process for a bit more horsepower to back up NVIDIA's Ion integrated graphics chip."

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Handful, eh? (1)

mewsenews (251487) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922321)

There have been a handful of NVIDIA Ion-based products with Intel's Atom processor that have been unveiled recently

A reference design and one shipping product qualify as a "handful"?

Neat story tho, I'm looking forward to the first netbook with this chipset.

Re:Handful, eh? (5, Funny)

greebowarrior (961561) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922845)

How big are YOUR hands then?
Mine are only large enough to hold one, perhaps two boards at a time

Re:Handful, eh? (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#27924071)

You small-handed freak...

I can hold a full-size ATX board in each hand, without spilling over! I mean, honestly. What's the big deal? [penny-arcade.com]

Re:Handful, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27925011)

Same here. Two broads are a handful. Oops. Misread that.

In a word: awesome! (4, Interesting)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922329)

There's been talk about NVIDIA's Ion since late last year when news first broke of the ultra small form factor platform. At the time, NVIDIA's tiny Atom-powered prototype system wasn't even called Ion yet, but images of the minuscule motherboard that would eventually be used in the reference platform had already surfaced and the community was buzzing with interest. One of the major concerns with most netbooks and nettops was their relatively weak integrated graphics solutions, and Ion would potentially address that concern.

Around the time when Ion was first announced, there was some scuttlebutt that Intel "disapproved" of the platform and that the company wouldn't sell OEMs Atom processors separately, without pairing them to an accompanying Intel chipset. Those rumors were soon squashed, however, because Intel does in fact sell Atom processors independent of a chipset. Although, I think it's still pretty safe to say Intel isn't exactly thrilled with Ion's existence. Regardless of what anyone thinks of Ion though, the platform is moving closer to public availability. I actually took a look at NVIDIA's Ion reference system a couple of months back and in I stated that "I want one - preferably sooner than later".

Well, the wait is almost over...!

=smudge=

Re:In a word: awesome! (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 5 years ago | (#27925515)

Can you use a PCI-e video card with this chipset though? I thought that was a major licensing restriction Intel had put on the Atom architecture. Yes the atom could interface with the PCI-e card, but they've restricted manufacturers from doing just that to cannibalize their desktop chip sales. Hopefully someone responds and puts me in my place, I'd love to play TF2 on an Atom/8800GTS combo with 4 gb of ram.

Re:In a word: awesome! (0, Flamebait)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 5 years ago | (#27926521)

What your post and the parent to your post both point out is further evidence of unfair anti-competitive practices by a dominant player in the industry. The chip is an x86 compatible chip, and NVidia has paid money to Intel for the rights to build chipsets for x86-compatible CPUs. To refuse to sell the chips just because it opens Intel to competition from NVidia will likely not go so well with the antitrust regulators or the judges in the antitrust suit brought by AMD.

Re:In a word: awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27927389)

I'd love to play TF2 on an Atom/8800GTS combo with 4 gb of ram.

no you wouldn't, TF2's minimum specs state a 1.7 GHz cpu, which would have been a pentium 4, now that wasnt exactly a IPC beast, but a 1.6 GHz atom is downright pathetic, somewhere around a 900 MHz P3.. You could NOT play TF2 on that comfortably.

Atom is a nice chip for netbooks / internet terminals, for the rest, it is useless

Re:In a word: awesome! (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 5 years ago | (#27927623)

TF2 will run on a toaster if you can attach a decent video card to the bus. If you can run TF2 on a first gen macbook (not pro) with laptop graphics (integrated) then an atom with 8800 doing the heavy lifting should be no problem.

Re:In a word: awesome! (1)

bishiraver (707931) | more than 5 years ago | (#27928325)

Actually, according to this benchmark [laptoping.com] , the atom bests the 1.13ghz pentium 3 (tualatin), and is 62% of the 2.4ghz pentium 4. Assuming that the pentium 4 performance scales linearly (which it doesn't, not really) with clock speed, this would give it the performance of about a 1.5ghz p4.

Re:In a word: awesome! (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 5 years ago | (#27934241)

Correct me fi I'm wrong, but I thought the Atom architecture was limited to 2gb - or maybe that was yet-another artificial requirement put on manufactures?

Personally, I'd have bought a dual core Atom last month if I could've put a Nvidia graphics card and 4+ Gb of RAM in it - in a heartbeat. But I opted to get a Phenom x3 710 instead. I figured that if I wasn't going to buy "efficiency" and still get the features I wanted (lower power use, silent operation while still maintaining decent power), I might as well buy price/performance.

I've been reasonably satisfied with my x3 w/ all three cores running at 800MHz.

Re:In a word: awesome! (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 5 years ago | (#27934215)

Re: Intel's dislike of other's use of the Atom to manufacture a "solution"...

Look into Intel's plans for the "Atom 2", which is due at the end of this year/beginning of next. From wiki [wikipedia.org] :

The next generation of the Atom, "Lincroft," architecture is scheduled to be launched in Q4 2009 for a dual core and Q1 2010 for single core and is code-named Pineview[30]. It will be used in Netbook/Nettop systems, and feature a system-on-chip (SOC) with an integrated single-channel DDR2 memory controller and an integrated graphics core. Pineview, like Diamondville, will be available in single and dual-core versions. It will feature HyperThreading, and is to be manufactured on a 45 nm[31] or 32 nm[32] process.

(em mine)

Looks like they figured out how to make the whole "system" pie their own piece. A 2GHz+ dual core x86 SoC is something AMD, Nvidia, and pretty much anyone who makes x86 hardware should be concerned about - never mind the ARM SoC makers who are trying to get into the 'netbook' arena.

Yeah, still awaiting ARM (4, Interesting)

goose-incarnated (1145029) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922435)

Getting ARM netbooks might prove to be the real MS-Killer that some are wishing for. Windows mobile cannot compete with Linux. If ARM netbooks sell for the under $200 price-point that we were told of, then expect people to happily purchase them and forget that they ever needed windows at all.

Re:Yeah, still awaiting ARM (3, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#27923339)

I agree but they need to build it using the Tegra.
They will also need Flash that uses the GPU for playback.
I feel there is one other part that is missing that they will need.
I for one see Netbooks being more like the iPhone/iPod Touch then the traditional PC. Linux needs and App store. I feel that Developers need a way to make money. I know that a lot of FOSS purists will get bent but some way for developers to sell their software would do Linux a world of good.
Before anyone bothers yes the iTunes Appstore has a lot of crappy software as well as the good. So does any Liunx distro repository you would care to mention.
Yes Flash is closed but everybody still uses it. Get a GPU accelerated Theora on netbooks as well as Flash and you will get more people using that.
You get a netbook with a good App store going and yes people will use it.
Honestly that is why I am betting that the first ARM netbooks will be running Android.

Re:Yeah, still awaiting ARM (1)

goose-incarnated (1145029) | more than 5 years ago | (#27923575)

I don't think the lack of an App Store would impact negatively if a mirrored package repository is provided. I have looked at the App Store - it's vastly inferior to a well done package repository. If manufacturers put out a Linux-based netbook, they merely need to ensure that a repository exists for the distro/hardware combo that they are using.

The hardware-accelerated flash I agree with

Re:Yeah, still awaiting ARM (3, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#27923831)

Except that a repository doesn't offer a way to sell software.
I see that as the key. Just like the AppStore you should have a mix of free and for none free software.
Just like with the IPhone if you gave people a way to make money off their software I think you would see a lot of good software available.

That and allow people to rate which program is better like the App store.
For instance do you know which DVD authoring program for Linux is better?
Or which CAD system.
Or which Twitter app?

An App store would give developers and the distro a revenue stream that they could use to improve there software.
Plus if you don't like paying for software keep using the free stuff and let those that are want to pay help pay for the development of the Distro.

Re:Yeah, still awaiting ARM (1)

goose-incarnated (1145029) | more than 5 years ago | (#27923987)

Those are all good points, and I would've modded you up had I not posted. However, App Store does no dependency tracking, and each app stands on it's own, which makes handling of libraries difficult. A popularity contest for software is also a double-edged sword, but I have to concede that it has it's advantages.

Re:Yeah, still awaiting ARM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27925301)

A popularity contest for software is also a double-edged sword, but I have to concede that it has it's advantages.

Oddly, ColbertSoft seems to produce all of the top-rated Linux apps.

Re:Yeah, still awaiting ARM (1)

wampus (1932) | more than 5 years ago | (#27925713)

This is actually becoming an issue in the Android market. The better apps provide a blurb and kick you back to the market to install whatever supporting apk they need. Shitty apps do nothing when there is nothing to catch the intent.

Then there are the users who install shit from the libraries category and go bugshit because nothing happens when they try to run it.

Re:Yeah, still awaiting ARM (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#27925723)

Well adding dependency tracking I would consider a given. A popularity contest? Don't we all ready have that in FOSS? If a project is popular it gets mindshare and developers. A good example is the DVD creation program I use. It is called DeeVeeDee. It is simple and works really well but I bet most people have never heard of it. If all you want to do is burn DVDs and put simple menus on them then I think it is a great program but I don't think it is very popular.

Re:Yeah, still awaiting ARM (1)

Jorophose (1062218) | more than 5 years ago | (#27932565)

Hello LWATCDR. Meet Click 'n Run.

But Linspire is the devil so it never quite caught on.

Re:Yeah, still awaiting ARM (3, Informative)

onkelonkel (560274) | more than 5 years ago | (#27923701)

I'm not really disagreeing with you, but there does seem to be two mutually exclusive ideas of "what is a netbook?" out there.

One is what you describe, an iPod touch with a 7' - 9" screen, basically an oversized PDA. It might have an ARM cpu, run Linux or Android. Does any such device that actually exist?

The other is a fully functional PC, just smaller. Intel Atom Cpu, winXP, 4+ hour battery. This is what is actually being sold as a netbook.

I own an eeePc, I paid $350, it runs MS Office (feh, work), Autocad (if you squint a bit), and all my older games (Homm 3, Diablo 2, Starcraft...). The 9" iTouch wouldn't meet my needs, I wouldn't buy one. I'm wondering how low you would have to price one to compete with the eePC. I think it would have to be well below $200 to sell.

Re:Yeah, still awaiting ARM (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#27923933)

Well there is no reason that 9" iTouch couldn't run OpenOffice. AutoCad???? I have used SolidWorks and even on a normal notebook it is PAINFUL. Maybe your only doing 2d but for 3d work a notebook will crawl with even a slightly complex model unless your notebook has a lot of ram, GPU and a good amount of CPU.
Your games are just a matter of porting. With an ARM based system they are talking about around $199 for a netbook so yes a lot cheaper. Your right that it may not be the right device for you but I think it would be for a lot of people. Hey there is nothing stopping AutoCad from porting to Linux/ARM if they want too.

Re:Yeah, still awaiting ARM (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | more than 5 years ago | (#27925951)

One is what you describe, an iPod touch with a 7' - 9" screen, basically an oversized PDA. It might have an ARM cpu, run Linux or Android. Does any such device that actually exist?

It should soon: http://www.crunchgear.com/2009/04/09/crunchtablet-hits-the-net-a-little-early/ [crunchgear.com]

Re:Yeah, still awaiting ARM (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 5 years ago | (#27927135)

The Pandora [openpandora.org] is an ARM-based PDA/UMPC/PSP thingy. Tiny screen, so not a netbook, but it has a good battery life(10+ hours of actual use on a new battery) and HOMM 2 has been ported! :D

Now the question - Netbook or PDA? You choose!

Re:Yeah, still awaiting ARM (1)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 5 years ago | (#27923889)

"Linux needs and App store"

It has. Each distro has one. Mine is called Synaptic.

Re:Yeah, still awaiting ARM (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#27925829)

Does Snaptic offer ratings, reviews, or a way to sell software?
Yea I use Snaptic all the time as well but I feel that for Linux to work on the desktop there has to be a way to also sell software as well as producing FOSS. I do not believe that there is a workable FOSS business model for things like casual games, CAD/CAM, ,high end video games, tax software, and a number of other categories that FOSS just doesn't do well in.

Re:Yeah, still awaiting ARM (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 5 years ago | (#27926701)

There are distros that offer paid packages in their repository.

There is even at least one app store with support for both Debian-based and RPM-based distros. See cnr.com [cnr.com] for information about Click'n'Run for example.

I prefer to buy my stuff directly from the software vendor's site if I'm buying rather than using gratis software, and I care more about what fits my needs than what is the hot trend this week. However, if you want an app store, Linux has that.

Re:Yeah, still awaiting ARM (1)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 5 years ago | (#27927611)

Why do they need to be built using the Tegra? What are its merits, other than brand name attached to it? ARM11 is Old Technology. Nvidia should get with some modern tech and build it on Cortex A8/A9.

Re:Yeah, still awaiting ARM (2, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#27928285)

The merits are that it can handle HD Video and is low cost.

Add Just Three More Ingredients (1)

StCredZero (169093) | more than 5 years ago | (#27924047)

Namely:

1) A very efficient Reflective 200 dpi screen. (From the OLPC)

2) 10+ hour battery life.

3) Bluetooth protocol, so it could dial your cellphone for you.

This would compete directly with the Kindle and iPhone, and if you make the right choices, it has most of the capabilities of both, but without DRM and various other disadvantages.

Re:Add Just Three More Ingredients (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 5 years ago | (#27924225)

This board is 6"x6". It's not going to be an iPhone competitor. If you want to compete with the iPhone, you need a platform that will fit in your pocket, or at least not look completely dorky on a belt clip.

Re:Yeah, still awaiting ARM (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27924949)

For a Netbook, yes, but one thing I notice about this board is that it has 3 SATA slots. Combined with a 64-bit Atom, that would be a very nice machine for running FreeNAS on, with three drives and ZFS.

Re:Yeah, still awaiting ARM (1)

FithisUX (855293) | more than 5 years ago | (#27925631)

I like Alternative CPUs with emphasis on MIPS but an ARM model with 128MB is not a platform for desktop computing , but has its merits. MIPS and PPC have better desktop orientation.

Re:Yeah, still awaiting ARM (1)

goose-incarnated (1145029) | more than 5 years ago | (#27925759)

Search for impulse npx-9000 ... it's a 400MHz MIPS-based netbook for $129, with Linux on. Planning on buying one next time I am in that part of the world.

Lighter, faster & longer autonomy (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922441)

I'm happy owner of an Asus eee netoobk, What I'd like to see from future netbooks is long battery life (once you get spoiled 5 hours is not enough), and a more powerfull CPU (not that important but still).

Can this new netbooks deliver this?

Re:Lighter, faster & longer autonomy (1)

nightranger (149267) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922475)

Extra battery capacity would be very handy. Switching the eeepc on and after boot getting the "70% remaining" is a bit depressing.

Re:Lighter, faster & longer autonomy (2, Informative)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922667)

My Samsung NC10 netbook gets nine hours off of a charge. They cost more than the eees, but they're simply better-quality machines.

Re:Lighter, faster & longer autonomy (2, Funny)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922755)

Don't start this silly arguing, your netbook has exactly the same battery, motheboard, cpu, ... as mine.

They last 5h with wireless on and constant web work. 9h if you are sleeping on it. :)

Re:Lighter, faster & longer autonomy (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922899)

9h is indeed with low brightness and wired net access. It's also with a working keyboard! I hope you think fondly of the $50 you saved every time you go for the right-shift and hit the up-arrow :-P

Re:Lighter, faster & longer autonomy (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922965)

I won't argue how you use your netbook since everyone is using it for different purposes.

I was just pointing out how our battery autonomy is more or less the same.

FINALLY! (3, Interesting)

800DeadCCs (996359) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922685)

This is what should have happened in the first place.
I have an Intel m-ITX board with the 330, it's nice... I wish it had a PCI-E/16 instead of regular PCI,,,
Could only find an ATI 2400/PCI for it, now that they're out, I might rebuild with a Nvidia 95(6?)00 because ubuntu won't install (complains about memory corruption errors. The. memory. is. OK.).

Intel's graphics are so bad they're criminal.
And please... stop making 230's and just make 330's.

I just hope it's not too expensive,
With a separate power brick made-to-go with this board,,,
A few stand-offs and you can have a nice low-power-draw render cluster.
It'd be even nicer if blender, yafaray, or lux had a branch that took advantage of CUDA as well.

Re:FINALLY! (2, Informative)

obi (118631) | more than 5 years ago | (#27924379)

Re:FINALLY! (1)

800DeadCCs (996359) | more than 5 years ago | (#27924699)

139 euro is about 190 USD...
For that price, I'd head towards the zotac m-ITX core-2 board with PCI-E/16.
Halve the price, and I'd grab it in a snap.

Limited application? (1)

Crashspeeder (1468723) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922737)

I may be missing something but after reading the article (GASP!) and seeing pictures, and so forth, I'm not sure this has much more practical application than a space-saving PC at home or a carputer. I can't really see myself carrying this around along with a mouse/keyboard/monitor.

It's not a gaming rig which means I won't be taking it anywhere, not that I travel with my current rig anyway. I won't knock the progress it marks in creating a lower power pc that delivers HD video, though.

Maybe this could be a good HTPC.

Re:Limited application? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27922957)

Its main use will be for HTPC. Small, low power and quiet operation while delivering GPU accelerated 1080P content! Not to mention, relatively cheap.

It's going to be an interesting summer with all these ION based mobos and nettops coming out. Love to get a 330 based Acer Revo with an SSD drive (or no HD at all and boot from a 4gb usb stick) and run linux + XBMC.

My only issues with that Zotac combo is that it's too fully featured for me. Once there's some competition, prices should come down as well. You can buy intel 945g micro-atx boards + atom 330 + 2gb ram combos for ~ $80. Right now, there's a pretty high premium for jumping to the ION platform.

Re:Limited application? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 5 years ago | (#27923131)

Its main use will be for HTPC. Small, low power and quiet operation while delivering GPU accelerated 1080P content! Not to mention, relatively cheap.

Yeah, that's what I'm planning to use one for: my current MythTV box is an Atom 330 Intel motherboard and it's fine for SD but just doesn't have the CPU power to handle 1080 (or even 720 in many cases) playback in software. I'll also be waiting for something a bit less featureful before I buy though.

Re:Limited application? (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 5 years ago | (#27924143)

Speaking of too featureful. . .I notice it comes with HDMI, DVI, *and* VGA/DSUB connectors. Isn't there some way to just put an HDMI connector on the box itself, and use adapters for DVI or VGA? The back of that mobo looks pretty darned crowded to me.

Re:Limited application? (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 5 years ago | (#27925679)

I don't think you can do that without violating the HDMI spec. The whole point of HDMI is to prevent you from having unencrypted HD video; if you could just toss on an adapter to go from HDMI to DVI (the latter is unencrypted by definition), then HDMI wouldn't need to exist.

What you could do would be eliminate HDMI and just have DVI, and then people who want HDMI use a DVI -> HDMI cable (which exist); this direction is trivial because HDMI devices will play DVI, IIRC. But this is sort of a no-go because people wouldn't buy a computer that "didn't do HDMI," plus at least on Windows there are probably applications that won't work without the encrypted signal path provided by HDMI. (On Linux I don't think that will ever be the case or matter.)

Re:Limited application? (1)

hardburn (141468) | more than 5 years ago | (#27925753)

VGA is an analog signal, and HDMI is pure digital. DVI has different pins for both types. That makes HDMI -> DVI cheep, and VGA -> DVI cheep, but HDMI -> DVI -> VGA can't be done without an expensive D/A conversion.

Re:Limited application? (1)

hardburn (141468) | more than 5 years ago | (#27923329)

I'm imagining a Beowulf cluster of these. No, really, I am. I have a personal project that's going to eventually need a lot of parallel processing power. This thing has a dual core processor and comes with its own external power brick. They seem perfect for a cookie sheet Beowulf [beowulf.org] . Since they're aiming for retailing this for around $180, you can easily hit $200/per node once you add a stick of RAM. That looks cheaper than any other solution once you've added a power supply.

Beowulf cluster (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 5 years ago | (#27923519)

Unfortunately the CPU isn't very fast: if it's something where you can use the GPU to do much of the work then a cluster might well be a good move, but the raw CPU power isn't likely to compete in price/power/performance with just buying a few Core 2 Quad systems.

From what I remember, multi-threaded Atom 330 performance is similar to a low-end Pentium-4, or a Cray Y-MP.

Re:Beowulf cluster (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27924425)

From what I remember, multi-threaded Atom 330 performance is similar to a low-end Pentium-4, or a Cray Y-MP.

Actually from what I heard it doesn't even really match Pentium 4 levels. The Atom is, more or less, a Pentium MMX (yeah, the originals) architecture pumped up in Mhz. Some are dual core, but it's still essentially a Pentium MMX on steroids. That's fine for a lot of stuff (hell most of us got plenty of work done on Pentium MMX chips that were less than 200Mhz so it's not like useful things cannot be done), but from a number crunching standpoint, they are indeed slow.

That in and of itself limits clustering capabilities with this IMHO. By it's very nature a Beowulf cluster (or any other such construction) is meant to chew through extremely long number crunching apps. This is far different from most desktop usage where an Atom is "good enough" because aside from gaming, most systems spend huge amounts of time sitting idle waiting for user input. For building a big number cruncher, as you said the Core 2 Duo's or Quads (or some of the AMD chips) are still better on a performance per $$$ ratio. Power draw might be higher and it might take a bit more space, but just unplug it when you're done. Power savings isn't real when it takes your Atom cluser 10x longer to calculate a result compared to your Core 2 Quad based cluster.

Re:Beowulf cluster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27929107)

For most number crunching stuff that qualifies for parallel computation a GPU is really better suited than a CPU. Imagine a board with an Atom and 2 or maybe 4 graphics cards. The GPUs do the heavy lifting and the Atom just does IO. That would get some work done.

Re:Limited application? (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 5 years ago | (#27926221)

Since they're aiming for retailing this for around $180, you can easily hit $200/per node once you add a stick of RAM. That looks cheaper than any other solution once you've added a power supply.

A $300 dual-core Dell Vostro or $800 quad-core Nehalem Dell Studio XPS will destroy it in pretty much every metric.

WOW Netbook please. (4, Interesting)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922825)

1) Build Netbook that is a) cheap, b) long battery life, and c) ability to play WOW at minimal settings.
2) ???
3) PROFIT!

Seriously though. That is what I want. You build it and I will go buy it.

Likely it will need at least a 10" screen to display without eyes bleeding.

From what I have read the Atom 1.6 just doesn't have the guts to run WOW realistically even at minimal levels.

However WOW is not a game that requires a lot of power to begin with (other than disk space). If it can play WOW it can probably play all my outdated games as well.

a 10" screen, a long battery life, some basic office software, wireless, wow, and decent price.

Doesn't have to be windows based. Linux is fine. You just have to make sure it becomes popular, and a community will help maintain it and provide updates and support. Make a cheap WOW playing netbook, and it WILL be popular.

Anyway that's my 2 cents.

Re:WOW Netbook please. (5, Funny)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 5 years ago | (#27922837)

Or you could get a girlfriend...

Re:WOW Netbook please. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27922975)

Or you could get a girlfriend...

WoW and hookers will cost you less in the long run. Particularly if the hookers will accept WoW gold for their services.

Re:WOW Netbook please. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27923029)

http://epicslut.ytmnd.com/

Re:WOW Netbook please. (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 5 years ago | (#27923063)

A girlfriend costs more then 13E a month.

Re:WOW Netbook please. (3, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#27923175)

Show me where I can find a girlfriend for 300 bucks...

Re:WOW Netbook please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27923313)

Apparently some girls don't even charge anything!

Re:WOW Netbook please. (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 5 years ago | (#27923357)

Here? [wikipedia.org]

Re:WOW Netbook please. (4, Funny)

cptnapalm (120276) | more than 5 years ago | (#27923375)

http://www.craigslist.org/ [craigslist.org]

Re:WOW Netbook please. (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 5 years ago | (#27927177)

It's not sad that this was modded informative, but rather that it is informative!

Re:WOW Netbook please. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27928573)

"Get" usually implies "keep for a while" whereas $300 on craigslist is more like "rent for an hour or two"

Unless you meant spending the $300 on a netbook, hanging out in a cloud of free WiFi and finding some other poor lonely soul via craigslist, which doesn't really answer the "get for $300" question.

Craigslist is a great place to find a bike, though. Know what really sucks about ADD?

Re:WOW Netbook please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27928715)

You should be able to find one for a dime(bag) in most metro areas.

Re:WOW Netbook please. (1)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#27930195)

300 US bucks buys you a few hours...

Unless you wanted a gf for the pleasant conversational company, of course...

Go BIG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27933123)

They're cheaper by the pound.

Re:WOW Netbook please. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27923463)

let's be realistic

Re:WOW Netbook please. (1)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 5 years ago | (#27925809)

This netbook would be for my girlfriend!

just kidding. I am so lonely!

Re:WOW Netbook please. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27922979)

"From what I have read the Atom 1.6 just doesn't have the guts to run WOW realistically even at minimal levels."
People seem to like to talk about which processor can run this game or that game, but it's not about the processor- it's about the graphics card. My 5 year old computer with a new graphics card runs circles around my bosses quad-core new system that has a crappy intel-integrated graphics.

Re:WOW Netbook please. (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 5 years ago | (#27923023)

People seem to like to talk about which processor can run this game or that game, but it's not about the processor- it's about the graphics card.

Well, it's both; some games need more CPU power than others.

I'd guess that the Atom 330 would handle WoW's CPU requirements, but the crappy Intel chipset is probably too underpowered to handle the graphics.

Re:WOW Netbook please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27923113)

Ion doesn't use Intel graphics. It uses Nvidia graphics.

Re:WOW Netbook please. (2, Informative)

0123456 (636235) | more than 5 years ago | (#27923215)

Ion doesn't use Intel graphics. It uses Nvidia graphics.

That was kind of my point: the old Intel motherboards can't run games very well because of the crap chipset, whereas this one should be able to run them much better. My Atom runs Linux so I haven't really tried 3D games on it, but the Intel chipset graphics are similar to the one in my Windows laptop and that struggles even with old games.

Re:WOW Netbook please. (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 5 years ago | (#27923037)

One should be for Alliance players with Gnome Linux and the other an Undead WinXP.

Now that would start a holy war.

WoW 5: The year of Linux desktop (release date might be delayed)

Re:WOW Netbook please. (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27923765)

I dunno how well this will play WoW, but if it does it might be what you're looking for in a mobile gaming platform.

http://openpandora.org/ [openpandora.org]

It's not really a netbook, but it does have a qwerty keyboard.

Re:WOW Netbook please. (1)

livid_gnome (1273544) | more than 5 years ago | (#27926911)

My brother has a 10" EEEPC (Atom N230 1.6 GHz, 1Gb ram, 160 Gb HDD, with XP) and I believe he can play WOW for something like 4hrs on the battery (he got the biggest battery he could).

Re:WOW Netbook please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27933871)

My Acer Aspire One runs WoW surprisingly well.

Maybe I'm easily impressed by getting 3fps in Dalaran, but it averages 12fps with peaks of 16-20 in most of the world with settings on low.

The wide screen resolution is supported just fine.

I've run Wintergrasp battles with probably 60 people on the screen and the performance bottoms out at around 1.6 fps, but it was actually not so bad.

For light questing and chatting and the occasional instance, the performance is not the limiting factor so much as the physically tiny screen.

Yes, but XBMC Linux? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27922969)

The biggest question for me, though, is how well does XBMC with VDPAU run with this?

Re:Yes, but XBMC Linux? (2, Informative)

itzfritz (822208) | more than 5 years ago | (#27924479)

The hothardware review indicates that it has a 9400M, which is on the vpdau supported platform list... I would def. like to see how something like myth or boxee performs on this board. it could make a killer nix htpc.

How about comparing it to a real system? (3, Informative)

Vigile (99919) | more than 5 years ago | (#27924445)

This review compares the same motherboard to an AMD-based system that is micro-ATX not mini-ITX, but does have the same price: $189 or so.

http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=708&type=expert&pid=4 [pcper.com]

If power consumption doesn't matter to you, the AMD X2 7750 + 780G + 400w PSU is a much better performer.

Re:How about comparing it to a real system? (2, Informative)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 5 years ago | (#27925369)

If power consumption doesn't matter to you, the AMD X2 7750 + 780G + 400w PSU is a much better performer.

Sure, if the size, silence and low power consumption are not important to you then you should not even consider a mini-ITX based system. But based on the linked that you provided, I think that the Zotac system performed well in some of the tests - especially in terms of performance per watt.

It is simply a case of working out what your priorities are.

Re:How about comparing it to a real system? (1)

MojoStan (776183) | more than 5 years ago | (#27930491)

If power consumption doesn't matter to you, the AMD X2 7750 + 780G + 400w PSU is a much better performer.

Sure, if the size, silence and low power consumption are not important to you then you should not even consider a mini-ITX based system.

Replace the 95W CPU with a 35W Conroe-L CPU [newegg.com] and the micro-ATX motherboard with a mini-ITX LGA775 GeForce 9300 motherboard [amazon.com] , and you've got something that's the same size and much closer in noise/power (for desktop users), but should blow away the Atom in gaming.

OTOH, I assume most people don't have serious gaming in mind when they build a mini-ITX desktop. For just HTPC applications (including Blu-ray playback), the Atom looks like it does just fine.

Re:How about comparing it to a real system? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27925653)

I found the reference system a little high on the idle power consumption. My x2 4850 & nvidia 8300 IGP draws 50W with only cool-n-quiet enabled (all settings are factory). I'm not using an 80+ PSU or anything. Measured it with a Killawatt meter at the outlet.

I put the box into S3 suspend when not in use. I don't think the ion system would save me more than $50 a year in power... I also like software decoding my HD video files with coreAVC. There's no torrent that I can't play smoothly, at any resolution.

Re:How about comparing it to a real system? (1)

MojoKid (1002251) | more than 5 years ago | (#27926085)

Troll much?

Re:How about comparing it to a real system? (1)

Vigile (99919) | more than 5 years ago | (#27928743)

Troll much?

Sorry, thought a good comparison would be to see how this ION performs up against similarly priced uATX desktop configuration. People should know that in many ways the 9400M GPU is wasted on the Atom processor.

Re:How about comparing it to a real system? (1)

MojoKid (1002251) | more than 5 years ago | (#27928853)

You're pitting a dual core desktop CPU against Ion. Of course it's going to be faster and also consume 3X the power and generate that much more heat/noise. The point of Ion is to support devices like netbooks and REAL SFF PCs (ITX and mini-ITX), not uATX. They are different animals. It still just seems like you just plain wanted you're link in here, which is fine I suppose.

Re:How about comparing it to a real system? (1)

MojoKid (1002251) | more than 5 years ago | (#27928873)

And for that matter you could just through a C2D in there instead of Atom but the point is what? Yes, it's a more capable, larger, hotter box.

Re:How about comparing it to a real system? (1)

AllynM (600515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27928851)

Troll much?

I never would have thought such a simple statement could in itself be a troll. Who knew?

I really thought the HotHardware guys would be better than that. Seriously.

Re:How about comparing it to a real system? (1)

MojoKid (1002251) | more than 5 years ago | (#27929005)

Hmmm... your user activity suggests that you shouldn't be judging character there Allyn; just a tad biased perhaps? ;-) I was just poking fun at Vigile, in case it wasn't clear. Not sure why it's so "not better than that" to challenge someone...

Re:How about comparing it to a real system? (1)

AllynM (600515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27929597)

I can judge character just fine regardless of my affiliation. The average Slashdot reader is not going to have enough context to get that you were poking fun. Heck, I had the context and still saw it as a low blow. Next time try throwing in a smiley for clarity.

Re:How about comparing it to a real system? (1)

MojoKid (1002251) | more than 5 years ago | (#27930037)

ahh no, a low blow is taking a shot at your competitor's/colleague and friends content, just to get your link in somewhere. Look at the title of the original post/thread here. As the old saying goes, if you can't take it, don't dish it. :) (yeah, that's a smiley)

No expansion slot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27924569)

I guess I'm going to nitpick here. This is a nice board, but it would be a lot better with a regular PCIe x1 slot. It looks like mini-pcie is good for wireless, evdo or small SSDs (turbo memory) only, none of which really add a lot of value here. A regular PCIe slot would be good for a tv tuner, hba, etc.

Re:No expansion slot... (1)

Methlin (604355) | more than 5 years ago | (#27928219)

A regular PCIe slot would be good for a tv tuner, hba, etc.

How so? It has 10 USB ports and there are dozens of USB tv tuners out there, so that leaves you with network cards and HBA. You won't be adding an HBA to a mini-ITX system which lives in a case barely big enough to hold one 3.5" drive and slim optical. You might have an argument for a network card to turn this into some sort of stupidly over-featured gateway, but there's far better suited mini-ITX boards for doing that.

This board is aimed directly at HTPC, and for that it's only lacking a few things: replace that VGA port with a break-out connector for svideo+composite+component (TV-OUT) so you can use pre-HDCP HDTVs (3 million+ of those) and projectors, and old TVs; toss in a DVI-I->VGA adapter, and replace that eSATA with FireWire so you can record/stream from cable STBs.

The Sound of Silence (2, Interesting)

braindrainbahrain (874202) | more than 5 years ago | (#27924581)

For those of in pursuit of the pure quiet PC, this board gets us a few steps closer.

Just in case anyone is checking, the total power consumption of this puppy is shown as 38 Watts, just a hair above the heat pipe rating for this Coolermaster heat-pipe based case [coolermaster.com]

Who wants to build the first one?

Almost good for NAS... (2, Interesting)

raw-sewage (679226) | more than 5 years ago | (#27926539)

I keep seeing new boards like this come out, hoping one will have all the features I want for an ideal NAS (network attached storage) build. Right now, there is always some trade-off for what I want. Show me the board that has...

  • Support for ECC RAM. AFAIK, all modern AMD CPUs all support ECC RAM. Seems like AMD should be able to make something that competes with the Atom on the low-wattage side of things. A full-blown 4850e or even Sempron is overkill.
  • At least six SATA ports. Eight to 10 would be perfect. Modern Intel (ICH10) and AMD (SB700) chipsets seem to max out at six SATA ports. And Intel likes to pair the Atom with even older chipsets (ICH7 I think) that support at most four SATA ports.
  • A PCIe x16 slot. Not necessary if and only if the motherboard has everything needed integrated. This requirement is really just a stop-gap, assuming the board itself will lack some crucial feature. Or for providing for unforseen future expansion.
  • A built-in compact flash slot. My understanding is that PATA and CF are closely related (one is a subset of the other maybe?)... in this day and age, I would imagine PATA controllers are dirt cheap. But the idea is to use CF as the system drive, i.e. the place to hold the OS and config files. (You could also use USB + thumb drive, so as a compromise I'd settle for an on-board USB socket into which a thumb drive can be directly plugged.)
  • At least one Gigabit LAN port, preferably a high quality controller like Intel makes. Two Gigabit ports for bonding [kernel.org] would be ideal.
  • Super-low power CPU. The load on this machine will be virtually all I/O. Intel Atom, AMD Geode, or even ARM should suffice.
  • Chipset with sufficient IO muscle and integrated video without the high power consumption. The chipset Intel is supplying with the Atom is awful from a power consumption perspective (actually, none of Intel's chipsets are particularly low-power). AMD's 740G and 780G look decent, but still have way over-powered video. Super old school, VGA only video is sufficient. I'd even be happy with serial console only.

One board comes close: the VIA NAS 7800 [logicsupply.com] , but it doesn't appear to be available to the general public. And I don't see anything about supporting ECC memory. For no reason other than hearsay, I'm not so sure I'd trust important data to a Via chipset.

The next best, IMO (and I actually have one of these), is the Gigabyte GA-MA74GM-S2 [newegg.com] . Check out SilentPCReview's writeup [silentpcreview.com] on this board. Only problem: I'm not sure if it supports ECC or not (AMD CPUs do, but I've heard it still requires the motherboard vendor to enable it). One annoying problem is that the PCIe x16 slot is for video only---you can't put a SATA controller card, extra NIC or anything else useful to a NAS in there. Still, while it's a very low-power board when paired with the right CPU, it's still overkill for a NAS. In general, I think the power draw for a NAS (excluding the hard drives) should be under 15 Watts.

The Point of View Ion/Atom [techpowerup.com] board linked above looks promising. But, as far as I can see, no compact flash, and probably no ECC memory support.

Love netbooks, just need dual core+ graphics (1)

zeebockpojazz (1254592) | more than 5 years ago | (#27926817)

I recently switched to using a netbook as my only computer. I first had an esus eee 1000h, I have recently purchased an hp mini 1033cl for 270 and sold off my eee. I absolutely love using a netbook as I am always on the go and it is by far the most convenient thing to carry on the go. I do not game, edit video, etc so it suits my needs just fine. that said there have been moments where the extra processing power would be of great help. I think the perfect netbook would have a dual core atom and a good integrated or discrete graphics solution. I think once this occurs the reality is that the $350 netbook will be more than enough PC for a vast majority of users. I believe intel realizes this and will be extremely slow to release dual core atom for the netbook, if ever. If the day comes when dual core netbooks arrive with decent graphic solutions, I will thoroughly rejoice and purchase one. However I think intel realizes that they'd be shooting themselves in the foot if they did so, so they probably wont. I'd love to get a nice 11 inch vaio, lenovo, dell, etc but they're all 2k. Screw that!

Get off the ION short bus (1)

fredex.org (1553189) | more than 5 years ago | (#27927367)

I've been waiting for the ION, however it always seemed like it was a warmed over P-Pro or P3. ZOTAC GF9300-D-E LGA 775 NVIDIA GeForce 9300 HDMI Mini ITX Intel Motherboard - Retail ~$139 Mini-ITX Core2 capable, Quad also Good enough IGP for surfing and average gaming, BUT IT HAS x16 PCIe slot! Throw in one of ATI's new 4770(?) that beats the 4830 with less power for $90, and I think that'll work as a HTPC just fine. $139 at NewEgg. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813500022 [newegg.com]

Hackintosh? (3, Interesting)

cfriedt (1189527) | more than 5 years ago | (#27928115)

I've been waiting for somebody to start pairing the dual core atom 330 with nvidia's geforce 9400m for a while. In my opinion, this is more than enough horsepower for the average end-user desktop, htpc, or netbook. And so power efficient too!

I'm seriously considering one of these zotac boards for an htpc, while using an even more power efficient arm netbook (e.g. always innovating touchbook) for my portable linux workstation. The zotac board would also likely serve as a good hackintosh, no?

Via could also potentially profit if they paired one of their up-and-coming dual-core chips with the geforce 9400m.

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