Computer Hard Drives

Mini-ITX Motherboards

Copyright 2009 by Stephen Vermeulen
Last updated: 2009 Sep 04
Computer Monitors

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See also:

mini-ITX form factor

  • 2009-Sep-04: Antec introduced the ISK 300-65 Mini-ITX case in Summer'09, it provides a pretty nice case plus power supply solution for mini-ITX motherboard for under $100. [8458]
  • 2009-May-13: The Intel BOXD945GCLF2D is an Atom 330 (i.e. dual core) based mini-ITX format motherboard that is pretty low cost at about $80. [7966]
  • 2009-May-13: Zotax makes a number of mini-ITX motherboards (available here) and are now going to offer some Atom+ION solutions too. A number of reviews of the IONITX-A motherboard (which appears capable of BluRay playback) can be found here. [7893]
  • 2009-Jan-22: Neuros is adding support for the Wiimote to their LINK. [7474] [1] [2]
  • 2008-Oct-11: Portwell is shipping the Nano-8044, this is the first nano-ITX board that is based on the Intel Atom processor. [7007]
  • 2008-Sep-17: Neuros is releasing a new version of their OSD device, this adds support for HD video encoding (including recording 720p from component inputs) and is built around a mini-ITX sized motherboard and enclosure. For the $250 price its actually pretty good value just for the case, power supply and motherboard alone. Note, this is not a general purpose motherboard, but does have a processor with 256MB or RAM and flash built in along with 100MHz LAN and hard disk interface so could well be used for other sorts of computer appliances. A good look at the inside of the device is here. The Neuros OSD 2.0 wiki has more information. [6868] [1] [2]
  • 2008-Sep-13: In this project the modder combines a 15 inch LCD monitor with a complete mini-ITX system to produce an all-in-one computer. [6844] [1]
  • 2008-Aug-13: The Popcorn hour networked media player is now shipping in limited quantities at $179. This supports up to 1080p (both component and HDMI) as well as composite and S-video. It also has two USB ports for adding devices as well it supports an IDE internal drive for more storage. It supports a pretty wide set of CODECS. There's more information on this on the Networked Media Tank support wiki. In May'08 this started to ship in volume, comments from early adopters are pretty positive. A very good review of the Popcorn Hour with some internal pictures, this review has been updated a number of times as the author has worked with different firmware versions. Engadget asks its readers how they would change the Popcorn Hour. The next generation of this (the A-110) went on pre-order in Aug'08 and they are also making a mini-ITX motherboard called the B-110 for home theater applications. CNet takes a look at the A-110. [5143] [1]
  • 2008-Jun-20: In June'08 Via updated its mini-ITX form factor to version 2.0. [6381]
  • 2008-Jun-07: In June'08 Via announced the mini-ITX 2.0 platform, this increases the specification to the point where HiDef home theatre PCs could be built with mini-ITX components. Discussed here on Slashdot. [6283]
  • 2008-May-20: Intel has added an Atom chip to the D945GCLF mini-ITX motherboard, this should improve the CPU performance of the board, perhaps to the point it can play hidef video? It is available here and gets mentioned here along with some other boards (the DG45FC) that might support DVI and HDMI outputs and also here. Discussed here on Slashdot. [6185]
  • 2008-May-14: The EPIA PX5000EG is a fan-less Pico-ITX board. [6160]
  • 2008-Apr-27: The Intel D201GLY2 motherboard is a mini-ITX board with soldered-on Celeron processor that costs about $80, making it the least expensive mini-ITX solution I know of (Jan'08). SilentPCReview takes a look at the D201GLY and the newer D201GLY2, they ran tests of the board's ability to play HIDEF media (up to 1080p) from files on the hard drive. It was able to handle 720p and 1080p H.264 playback but WMV3 VC-1 encoded files stressed the CPU and there were some dropped frames. Mini-Box has a good performance comparison between a VIA 1.5GHz processor and the Celeron 215 (1.3GHz) processor on the D201GLY, this shows the Celeron solution running at roughly 25W for a full system, versus the VIA solution running at 20W (so the VIA is a bit lower power); however, the Celeron out perfoms the VIA in all benchmarks and often by a 50% to 100% margin. [4646]
  • 2007-Dec-27: Here's an interesting twist, for $199 you can buy a mini-ITX motherboard, RAM and disk drive from Walmart, what you do is purchase their Everex green PC, and then gut it for the mini-ITX motherboard that it contains. This gets discussed here on Slashdot. A review of this PC along with more discussion on Slashdot. PCMag didn't find much to like about this system. [3905]
  • 2007-Dec-10: VIA has announced ARTIGO a ultra-compact barebones system based on the Pico-ITX motherboard, for about $300 (including case). [4402]
  • 2007-Nov-26: is a Canadian distributor of mini-ITX related products (cases, motherboards...). [4193]
  • 2007-Nov-09: RadiSys has mini-ITX motherboards, as well as other products for embedded applications. [4057]
  • 2007-Nov-08: E-itx has a good selection of mini-ITX, nano-ITX and pico-ITX motherboards. [4055]
  • 2007-Nov-08: Interlogic has a good selection of mini-ITX motherboards that are Pentium processor based as well as SBCs for embedded applications. [4054]
  • 2007-Nov-08: While not strictly mini-ITX in form factor, the gOS Dev Board is a micro-ATX board based on the Via C7 processor, so it has the nice low power characteristics of a mini-ITX board, but it has more slots and it is roughly 1/2 the cost of an equivalent mini-ITX board. So unless you want to put it in a very small case this might be a good choice. Since it has both ATA and SATA connectors if you have a defunct PC you could just remove its motherboard and pop one of these in its place. If this board had DVI or HDMI output it would actually make a reasonable media PC for quite a low price. Discussed here on Slashdot and here on Engadget. [4048]
  • Jetway is building a number of mini-ITX boards (including the J7F5 series with DVI and HDMI ports) and is going to make some small form factor cases. [2689]
  • In Jan'07 Via announced their Pico-ITX super small motherboard, only 3.9x2.8 inches, discussed here on Slashdot. This board has most of its IO on pin headers (just the LAN and VGA are on conventional connectors). I would have thought that this is a step backwards, and some USB and audio (and perhaps also a composite, or component or DVI video) connectors on the board would have made a lot of sense for the typical sort of things this board would be used for. Here's one stuffed inside an old Game Boy case. A review of the VIA EPIA PX10000 Pico-ITX format motherboard. [2688]
  • The EPIA-N8000E Nano-ITX fanless motherboard. [2687]
  • Often these mini-ITX type systems are powered by a two stage power supply arrangement, an external brick does the initial AC to DC conversion and then an internal DC to DC converter chops things up to supply the additional voltage levels the computer needs. Here is a very small DC-DC converter which is available from [2686]
  • A review of 4 home-theater styled cases [2685]
  • An article describing the constuction of a mini-ITX system based on the MII10000 processor running Puppy Linux [2684]
  • VIA has announced (Mar'05) a dual processor mini-ITX board. [2683]
  • ITX Warehouse (in the UK) has a good assortment of cases and motherboards for mini-ITX. [2682]
  • Chyang Fun makes some cases that fit mini-ITX boards. The 7989 C35 Mini Cube might be a good unit for those looking for a larger case for a mini-ITX motherboard. [2681]
  • There are some other motherboards that are based on Socket 370 CPUs that approach the mini-ITX form factor. Here is a review of the Jetway B860T [2680]
  • Using the EPIA-M10000 for robotics applications, including how to add analogue and digital IO, using an IsoPod [2679]
  • has mini-ITX motherboards and cases [2678]
  • ComputerGate has mini-ITX section [2677]
  • has a lot of news on the mini-ITX platform, it also has information about motherboards based on a variety of processor types. [2676]
  • is a community site for Linux on mini-ITX [2675]
  • The Damn Small Linux mini-ITX Store [2674]
  • The New Type Computer Workshop (in Vancouver Canada) stocks mini-ITX boards and cases. [2673]
  • More news on mini-ITX motherboards. Including higher-speed fan-less models. [2672]
  • has some nice small format cases, such as for mini-ITX. [2671]
  • Here's a review of the Travla C138 mini-ITX case, with a good set of pictures showing how it all fits together. [2670]
  • BigBruin reviews the Morex Cubid 3688 mini-ITX case, it look about the same size as a 5.25" half height drive. [2669]
  • Following up on the mini-ITX form factor will be the nano-ITX which is just 12cm by 12cm and designed for media appliance type applications, this Slashdot article (Mar'04) includes links to more info. [2668]
  • Mini-Box makes a very compact PC based on the VIA Mini-ITX platform. [2667]
  • Here's a little power consumption simulator for the VIA EPIA motherboard and peripherals. [2666]
  • Even the NewYork Times has seen the mini-ITX. [2665]
  • Logic Supply has a lot of mini-ITX stuff. They alo have some P4 based mini-ITX motherboards (with a 2.4GHz P4 you need 75W for the motherboard and CPU, plus some more for the drives) [2664]
  • Lian-Li makes the PC-402A case that will hold an mini-ITX motherboard and 2 x 3.5" and 2 x 5.25" drives. [2663]
  • The store has a good selection of cases. The Morex Venus 668 and 669 cases look like the typical SFF case design, and have space for 2 x 5.25" drives. [2662]
  • According to this mini-ITX FAQ the EPIA motherboards only support up to 128GB (a.k.a. 136GB) disks, while the EPIA-M series boards will support drives larger than 128GB as they have 48-bit LBA mode. [2661]
  • Here's information about the mini-ITX form factor from VIA's web site. [2660]
  • The Antec Aria case (available from MemoryExpress) might make a good housing for a mini-ITX system that needs to have more than two drive attached. [2659]
  • This news group article addresses the issue of putting a mini-ITX motherboard into a regular ATX or micro-ATX case, it concludes that this does work. [2658]
  • Some articles from Tom's Hardware: Eden mini-ITX format boards, VIA's C3 Hits 1GHz [2657]
  • Here's a good overview of a lot of the various boards and options available now in mini-ITX. [2656]
  • The VIA Mini-ITX is a cute little highly integrated motherboard, roughly 6 inches square (this PDF claims that the mini-ITX board can be mounted in a FlexATX or MicroATX chassis, perhaps with modification of the mounting hole positions. Also, the mini-ITX supports both ITX and ATX compliant power supplies) . Here are a number of neat case projects built around this sort of motherboard. The Lex Thin-800E case (reviewed here) is based on the VIA Mini-ITX. The mini-ITX format could also be used to build your own supercomputer cluster. Or you can fit an entire PC into a Windows XP retail box - not your typical computer case, but the artical has some interesting custom case building ideas. [2655]
  • The mini-ITX form factor is showing some promise as the basis for making low-power dedicated appliance-like PCs. For example one might make:
    • printer server
    • file server
    • domain controller
    • PVR boxes (though this sort of application is going to be pushing the CPU somewhat)
    based on these small motherboards. [2654]

DTX form factor

In Jan 2007 AMD started to discuss their new DTX form factor for small form factor motherboards. Discussed here on Slashdot.
  • 2008-Sep-19: A review of an ECS mini-DTX motherboard P945GC that uses the dual-core Atom 330 processor. The benchmarks show this to be typically about 1/2 to 1/3 the speed of an Athlon X2 4850 processor. Of course this probably uses about 30W less power than the Athlon solution and should be a bit less expensive. [6889]
  • 2007-Oct-22: AMD's DTX and mini-DTX form factor have finally reached the public prototype stage, though progress seems pretty slow at 10 months from announcement to only a prototype shipping. [3501]
  • Intel is also going to have a DTX motherboard called the D201GGV, should be available in June'07. [2691]
  • n May'07 Gigabyte announced a DTX form motherboard (along with a proposed case design), this is based around an AMD chipset. [2690]

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