Motherboard makers flaunt their Brazos goodies


— 9:36 AM on January 11, 2011

In addition to Brazos-based notebooks, this year's CES exhibits included a number of small-form-factor Brazos motherboards—most of them ripe for use in home-theater PCs and other diminutive enthusiast rigs. All of the usual suspects had boards on display, and AMD wasn't afraid to present them in its own showcase:

We actually saw two Brazos boards from Asus: the one you see in the video above, plus another one that looks to be based on the Mini-DTX form factor, pictured below.

That second board incorporates AMD's E-350 accelerated processing unit, the fastest of the bunch, as well as reasonably generous connectivity. There's PCIe x16, PCIe x1, 32-bit PCI, USB 3.0, and SATA 6Gbps. Asus apparently went with a passive cooling solution for this design, as well.

Gigabyte also had an E-350-based Mini-ITX mobo on display. This one is a little bit less exciting—and potentially louder due to that tiny fan riding the APU heatsink. (Small fans like this tend to spin quickly and produce higher-pitched noise than their larger counterparts.) SATA 6Gbps and USB 3.0 are still on the menu here.

Not to be one-upped by its bigger competitors, MSI showed a board similar to the Gigabyte offering, but with a snazzier-looking cooler. I'd still opt for a passive cooler myself, but having all of these different options certainly doesn't hurt.

Last, but not least, we encountered a Brazos-based Mini-ITX mobo from Sapphire. As you can see in the photo above, this model was shown with its cooler off, revealing the AMD APU and its companion Hudson I/O hub. Note the use of SO-DIMM slots and the presence of a Mini-PCIe connector just above the PCIe x16 slot. Discrete graphics and internal Wi-Fi adapters should both be welcome.

   
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