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PHYSICAL DETAILS & LAYOUT
A board's layout is important in several regards. The positioning of components
can dictate compatibility with other products (third party heatsinks mainly)
and also ease of installation. Poorly placed power connectors can also airflow
and make the system more thermally challenging.
When it comes to mini-ITX motherboards it's tough to criticize any layout choices.
With so little room to work with, fitting all the standard ports is an achievement
in itself. There aren't that many tricks to maximize space the CMOS battery
placed vertically is the only obvious measure. There are two fan headers, one
4-pin PWM header near the back panel and one standard 3-pin header below the
Viewed from the side.
There is a limited amount of hardware you can add to any mini-ITX board. There
are only two memory slots, a single expansion slot (PCI-E 1x), two SATA ports
and one IDE controller.
The chipset heatsink is one of the smallest we've seen. Its fins are thick,
broad and there aren't that many of them. We've noticed that other motherboards
using the same chipset have much larger coolers, so it's surprising and worrisome
to see this.
Back panel connectors.
Connectivity via the back panel is very limited with only the bare minimum
of ports available. The board can drive only a single VGA display the complete
lack of digital outputs is disappointing.
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