Zotac IONITX-P-E: First CULV-embedded Motherboard

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Zotac IONITX-P-E: CULV Motherboard

November 13, 2010 by Lawrence Lee

Mini-ITX CPU/Motherboard
Street Price

We have been big fans of the Intel CULV (consumer ultra low voltage) chips since they began showing up in notebooks more than a year ago. They are the perfect compromise between the Atom CPUs found in underpowered netbooks and the standard Intel Pentium/Core 2 processors in mainstream laptops. CULV ultra portable laptops sit almost squarely in the middle between these two classes in size, weight, speed, and battery life. They have all but taken over the ultraportable thin, powerful, long running business class laptops.

Zotac was the first to bring CULV CPUs to the desktop with various models in the ZBOX series of slim, sleek barebones nettops. We found the small size and unique hardware of the ZBOX HD-ND22 — dual core Celeron processor and Nvidia ION graphics — to be pound-for-pound and inch-for-inch a most potent computing package.

The IONITX-P-E is a larger version of the board in the ZBOX HD-ND22, a mini-ITX motherboard with the same CPU/GPU and taking full-sized DDR3 DIMMs rather than SO-DIMMs. This is not Zotac's first CPU/GPU combo, as they have a variety of such products in their IONITX series. Till now, all the similar products have been Atom-based.

The box.

Included accessories.

The embedded dual core Intel Celeron SU2300 processor runs at only 1.2 GHz so it won't win any benchmarks, but it's still a lot faster than any Atom. Nvidia ION drives the graphics so this board will play almost any high definition video you can throw at it, and it will handle games at lower resolutions as well. The board has a full-sized PCI-E 16X slot which gives it the potential for some extra functionality, whether it be in the form of a high performance graphics card for gaming, a TV tuner to make it a suitable HTPC, or a SATA/RAID controller card for a server configuration. This is the main advantage of the IONITX-P-E — it offers the DIY builder many more options than pre-built solutions.

Zotac IONITX-P-E: Specifications
(from the product web page)
CPU Socket NA (integrated CPU)
Dimensions 6.7in x 6.7in - 170mm x 170mm
Form Factor Mini ITX
FSB 800 MHz
Memory Size Up to 8GB RAM
Memory Slots 2x 240 pin DDR3 DIMM
Memory Type DDR3
Onboard Audio Onboard 6-channel high-definition audio / 7-Channel LPCM digital audio (HDMI)
Onboard LAN 10/100/1000Mbps
Package Contents 3 x SATA cables
1 x SATA power adapter
2 x WiFi Antennas
DVI-to-VGA adapter
1 x I/O back plate
PCI Express 1x (1) Mini PCI Express, (1) PCI Express x16
Power Connector 20 Pin
RAID 0/1/0+1
SATA 3 SATA 3.0 Gb/s ports
USB 10 (6 on back panel, 4 via pin header)
Video Ports VGA + DVI-D + HDMI

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