Zotac IONITX-P-E Integrated Motherboard Reviewajmatson -
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With the rise in popularity of HTPC and small form factor media/gaming rigs as well as the rise in electricity costs, low power high performance platforms are taking center stage. With the inception of the ION platform, the once back shelf products are now receiving a new lease on life. We have seen a number of ATOM/ION based combos being released however they still did not offer the bang that some customers were looking for. As a way of background, these small ITX form factor boards are paired with low power processors and GPUs designed to offer the user a platform that will provide them with strong media capabilities as well as some casual gaming in a compact, low-power design. While not able to break world records, they are perfect as high definition media players and small gaming rigs.
Zotac has been one of the pioneers in the ITX platform and now they have taken the ION platform a bit further by coupling it with an ultra low voltage Intel Celeron processor designed to give the user a boost in performance over the ATOM combination. I have seen SU Celeron's in laptops but this is a first for me seeing it in a desktop setup. Will the beefier processor make a difference in media and gaming as well as everyday tasks?
The Zotac IONITX-P-P comes in a rather small box due to its size. The packaging uses Zotac's black and yellowish orange color scheme. On the front of the package there are several product logos showing off what the ION board has under its hood. On the rear, there is an image diagram of the board with an explanation of highlights of the components as well as other features that makes the board and CPU combo a competitor in the ION market. On the right side panel there is a list of the specification for the Zotac ITX P series board.
Opening up the package presents you with the accessories that are included as well as the mainboard and CPU combo which is what we really want. Included with the IONITX-P-E board are three SATA data cables, one SATA power adapter, two wireless antennas for the integrated Wi-Fi, the back panel shield, and the driver CD and documentation for the board.
Now that we have the package open we can get a closer look at the board itself.