Zotac IONITX-P-E Integrated Motherboard Reviewajmatson -
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I must say I was very impressed with the performance of the Zotac IONITX-P-E combo board. The added performance that the dual core Intel Celeron processor added over the Atom used in most other ITX boards was evident. First I wanted to start off with a couple of key features that really make this board stand out. Number one is the expandability that it offers with the use of a full size PCI Express x16 slot along with a Mini-PCI Express slot which comes populated with a wireless-N card and dual antennas allowing for high speed wireless connectivity perfect for an HTPC setup. In addition you have full size memory slots which allow you to pack up to 8GB of DDR3 memory which is more than enough for any setup you might need. While small in size don't be fooled. This combo packs a punch when it comes to scores as we saw in the benchmarks which really surprised even myself.
Overclocking performance was a bit disappointing but for a low power board I really did not expect much. That being said, any bit of extra performance you can squeeze is free so it is a bonus. HD video play back using a 720p video file was fluid and smooth. The CPU usage stayed an average of about 50 percent with no jitter during the playback with either the video or audio. The ability to play HD video and output it via HDMI makes this a perfect platform for your media center computers. Gaming on low resolutions was bearable - just don't expect to break any frame rates on high resolution.
The power consumption was very low considering all that was running in the test system. This helps save money on electricity costs and allows you to run the system constantly without having to always shut it down. Temperatures did get a bit high some times especially when overclocked however; it was still within safe limits. All in all, this is a very rock solid processor, graphics and motherboard combo. At $199 this platform is a steal in my opinion and the only gripe I have is the lack of integrated Bluetooth. Being a media type platform, Bluetooth is invaluable with mini Bluetooth keyboards and media services between cell phones and other portable devices. If you are looking for a solid HTPC board I would highly recommend the Zotac IONITX-P-E board.
- Fairly priced for the features it offers
- Included dual channel wireless-N card
- Full HD output with HDMI
- Integrated ION graphics processor
- More powerful dual core Intel Celeron processor
- No Bluetooth which is a bust for a media center