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

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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 BATA ports.

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.

Chipset heatsink.

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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