Zotac NF610i-ITX: Compact, low cost, Core 2 solution

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Zotac NF610i-ITX: A Compact Core 2 Solution

September 1, 2008 by Lawrence Lee

Product Zotac NF610i-ITX
Intel LGA775 mini-ITX Motherboard
Manufacturer Zotac
Street Price US$80

While Zotac may sound like the name of an alien from a cheesy sci-fi movie, it is actually one of nVidia's newest board partners. Their graphics cards and motherboards have been popping up recently in North America but like many brands, they get lost in the big shuffle. To really get attention, you have to differentiate yourselves from the competition. On paper, most of Zotac's products are a bit pedestrian.

The Zotac NF610i-ITX is a notable exception in that it is one of the few mini-ITX motherboards available that can utilize the power of a standard desktop processor. It has an LGA 775 socket and it is compatible with most Intel Core 2 processors, making it one of the few viable choices for a powerful, mini-ITX PC. Most mini-ITX motherboards utilize a built-in, low-power, slower processor that is soldered directly to the board and cannot be removed.

The board uses nVidia's most basic chipset for Intel processors, consisting of the nForce 610i MCP and Geforce 7050 GPU. The choices available for a LGA775 motherboard with nVidia integrated graphics are poor — a quick visit to their motherboard product page shows that they offer only one line: the Geforce 7 series. On the AMD side, there is Geforce 6, 7, 8100, 8200, and 8300 to choose from. This seems like an egregious oversight when you consider just how weak Intel IGPs have been in the past. Of course the current nVidia-Intel relationship is contentious, so there may be other reasons behind this mysterious absence.

So is Geforce 7050 good enough? Does this board rise up from the relative obscurity of Zotac's line? Let's find out.

The usual retail box, with an orange and black motif suitable for halloween candy.

To complement the board's compact size, the accessories are kept to a minimum.

Zotac NF610i-ITX: Specifications (from the product web page)
Processor Support
- Intel Core 2 Duo
- Intel Core 2 Quad
- Intel Core 2 Extreme
- Intel Pentium
- LGA775 Socket
- Up to 1333 MHz FSB
Chipset - NVIDIA GeForce 7050
- NVIDIA® nForce 610i
BIOS - Phoenix (Award) PnP Flash ROM BIOS
Memory - DDR2 533/667
- 2 DIMM slots up to 4GB memory
I/O Onboard - One Channels Parallel ATA133 Connector (Support up to 2 Devices)
- Two Serial ATA 3.0Gbps Ports
- One HD Audio 5.1 Port (Line-in, Line-out, MIC-in)
- One PS/2 Mouse Port
- One PS/2 Keyboard Port
- One Serial Port (pin header)
- Four USB Ports on Back Panel, Four USB Ports on Pin Header
- One RJ45 Port
LAN - Onboard 10/100Mb/s
USB - Integrated in chipset, USB 2.0 x 8

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