Zotac GeForce 8200-ITX WiFi: A Compact AM2 Solution

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HDMI Output

The board does not have a native HDMI port — it is provided via a DVI adapter. The HDMI signal was picked up by our Asus MK241H LCD monitor (1920x1200) without difficulties and audio was passed through successfully as well. According to the chipset specifications, GeForce 8200 supports 8-channel LPCM audio output, which makes it step up from AMD's chipsets, which currently only output HDMI audio in stereo.

Wireless Connectivity

The included WiFi module worked fine, giving us a strong, consistant signal at a 25 foot (~8m) distance from our lab's 802.11g router. We did not encounter any drop-outs though it was never in long-term use. It should be noted that the WiFi adapter added 5~6W to the system's power consumption, whether it was connected to a network or not. We've seen external USB WiFi adapters use more than 10W extra, so this is actually quite reasonable.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The first Zotac product we reviewed, the NF610i-ITX, seemed like a rush job, but the Geforce 8200-ITX is a much more polished product. It has a nice set of features, including HDMI with 8-channel LPCM audio and wireless connectivity. Power consumption was excellent and the IGP was quite capable for video playback. Our sample was also a suspiciously good overclocker.

The board's main problem is the driver issue that prevented us from getting Blu-ray playback working. The ultimate mini-ITX application is the home theater PC, so this is a huge downside. We expect this problem to be ironed out in the near future though — after all, the board's hardware is more than up to the challenge. What can't be fixed is the apparent (but not explicit) lack of support for higher TDP CPUs. This a more minor issue — few users (we hope) would throw a 125W TDP chip into a mini-ITX case anyway.

There are only a handful of retail mini-ITX motherboards available for the AMD platform at the moment and the Zotac GeForce 8200-ITX seems to be one of the cheapest of the bunch, making it a no-brainer if you don't mind the negatives noted above. Its low price makes the Zotac GeForce 8200-ITX a tempting lure. We wouldn't blame anyone for taking the bait.

Zotac GeForce 8200-ITX WiFi
PROS

* Very low power consumption when idle/during video playback
* HDMI with 8-channel audio
* WiFi
* Overclocks well
* Tempting price
CONS

* Blu-ray playback issues (driver problem)
* Apparent 95W CPU limit

Our thanks to Zotac for the GeForce 8200-ITX WiFi sample.

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Articles of Related Interest
Asus P5N7A-VM: Geforce 9300 IGP
Asus P5Q-EM G45 mATX motherboard
Asus M3A78-T: AMD's IGP Gets Another Boost
Intel DG45FC: Loaded LGA775 Mini-ITX Board
Zotac NF610i-ITX: A Compact Core 2 Solution
Asus M3N78 Pro: Geforce 8300 & HybridPower Explored

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