Zotac GeForce 8200-ITX WiFi: A Compact AM2 Solution

CPUs|Motherboards
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LAYOUT

When it comes to mini-ITX motherboards, it's tough to criticize any choices made in layout. With so little room to work with, fitting all the standard ports is an achievement in itself.


Layout.

The components on the GeForce 8200-ITX are packed in tight. There is a bit of clearance between the CPU socket and chipset heatsink, but apart from that, each piece is separated by a millimeter or two of space at most. The board has two DDR2 memory slots and four SATA ports; IDE and Floppy connectors have been left out to save space. The mini-ITX form factor allows one expansion slot, with Zotac opting for PCI-E 1x instead of PCI. Half of the board's capacitors are solid-state, a compromise between stability/longevity and cost.


At an angle.

The chipset heatsink is not very tall but it does take advantage of the area occupied — the fins are thin and numerous. The amount of voltage regulation circuitry is limited and lacks extra cooling — this is probably why 125W+ processors are not listed on Zotac's CPU test report. Intel's mini-ITX DG45FC is similar; it lacks Core 2 Quad support, probably for the same reason.


Trace side.

On the trace side of the motherboard there is a large plastic (but metal-reinforced) CPU back-plate. It is a bit overkill for a board of this type, but welcome nevertheless.


Back panel.

The back panel has only a basic set of outputs. There are no advanced features like eSATA or FireWire, but wireless (802.11 b and g) and HDMI are available through the included adapters.



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