Zotac IONITX-P-E Integrated Motherboard Reviewajmatson - February 13, 2011
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The Zotac IONITX-P-E board is a tiny ITX size measuring 17cm square but don't let its little size fool you. This compact board packs a punch including a formidable CPU and GPU combo, several expansion slots and full size memory DIMM slots. Combine that with a number of connectivity options and you have a small scale warrior ready to chew at its competition. Zotac uses the same color type scheme from its packaging on their boards. The PC Board is a black with a yellow and orange scheme for the expansion slots. The punch is the use of a low power processor along with a high powered integrated ION GPU which will allow you to run media and even some games at amazing resolution and frame rates once not possible for a board combo of this size. To cool the CPU/GPU combo, Zotac has included an active system which includes an aluminum heatsink with a 60mm fan to maintain the lowest possible temperatures.
Despite its mini design, the back panel sports a number of connectivity options. There is just enough room on the back panel to include all of the options and still even have room for the PCI Express expansion slot. Starting from the top there is a lone PS/2 port, six USB ports, an HDMI port, optical audio ports, a DVI port, a VGA port, one eSATA port, one gigabit networking port, three analog audio ports, and the two Wi-Fi antenna connectors. The audio support includes six channel high definition audio and 7-Channel LPCM digital audio using the HDMI port.
When it comes to expansion on the board itself there is a full size PCI Express x16 slot which allows the user to increase graphics power if needing something beefier than the integrated ION graphics. Above that is a Mini-PCI Express slot for the integrated Wireless N network card as well as three SATA 3.0Gbps ports. For headers there is a front panel audio header behind the analog audio ports, two USB 2.0 headers behind the LAN port, a COM header under the SATA ports, and the front panel connections along with the speaker and SPDIF header to the right of the PCI Express x16 slot. On the right hand side of the board there are the two full size memory slots which support DDR3 memory up to 8GB with a maximum speed of 1066MHz.
The heart of this system is the integrated CPU/GPU combo. The IONITX-P-E series uses an Intel Super Low Voltage SU2300 processor. This CPU has dual cores clocked in at 1.2GHz, has a 1MB cache size and uses an 800MHz FSB speed. The maximum TDP for this CPU is 10 watts and is manufactured using a 45nm process. The CPU is integrated in the board so you cannot remove it and replace it should you want an upgrade so keep that in mind. The partner in crime is the integrated graphics which is an NVIDIA ION GPU. The ION sports up to 16 CUDA cores, is clocked at 450MHz for the core and 1100MHZ for the shaders and is DirectX 10.1 compliant. It also offers digital resolutions of up to 2560 x 1600 and analog resolutions up to 2048 x 1536 and uses shared memory up to 512MB DDR3. The ION also supports NVIDIA's PureVideo HD for full decode of 1080i/p resolutions.
Now that we have a good breakdown of the board and processors we can get on to the BIOS.