Zotac IONITX-A: An ION / dual-core Atom Mini-ITX Board

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Vista: Aero & Color Depth

Another oddity we encountered was the inability of the system to run at 32-bit color depth and/or Vista's Aero GUI at 1920x1200 resolution. After some investigation we found that the IGP needed to be assigned 512MB of memory to overcome this problem.


Display options at 1920 x 1200 resolution with 128MB or 256MB assigned video memory: 16-bit color and no Aero option.


Display options at 1920 x 1080 resolution with 128MB or 256MB assigned video memory. 32-bit color and Aero option.

With 128MB or 256MB of video memory assigned, the system would only allow 32-bit color and the enabling of Aero at 1920 x 1080 resolution or lower. While this may not be a significant problem for many users, we find this unusual because every IGP we've tested in the last year or so, even those slower than GeForce 9300/9400, has been able to produce 32-bit color at 1920 x 1200 resolution with only 128MB of video memory.

We also noticed that the system took a noticeably long time to boot into Vista, at least compared to the XP install on the mCubed HFX Micro S13. Once booted up however, the system was as responsive as any dual core system tested in the past.

Cooling

In our open air test platform, the IONITX ran passively without any difficulty. We stressed both the CPU and GPU for half an hour and the system continued chugging along. The hottest point on the board's heatsink stabilized at 69°C according to an IR thermometer in our 22°C testing room.


SpeedFan main screen.

The internal sensors registered maximum GPU and CPU temperatures of 66°C and 75°C respectively. Assuming the board is used in a case with decent airflow, we would have no qualms about running it passively. A completely fanless system probably unrealistic unless the case is very well ventilated and the ambient room temperature always stays low.



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