You didn't think Zotac was going to let Intel's 7-series platform launch pass without announcing a few small-form-factor motherboards, did you? The Mini-ITX mobo maker has released details on two new models, one based on the mainstream H77 Express chipset, and the other equipped with the enthusiast-friendly Z77. Both boards fit within the 6.7" x 6.7" (170 x 170 mm) Mini-ITX footprint.
Despite their diminutive dimensions, the Z77-ITX WiFi and H77-ITX WiFi are loaded with goodies, including the 802.11n Wi-Fi support one might expect given their names. Bluetooth 3.0 is also part of the wireless package.
Like Zotac's previous Mini-ITX offerings, each board sports a pair of full-sized DIMM slots. There's also a proper PCI Express x16 slot in addition to an mSATA slot that's perfect for mini SSDs. If you'd rather run a standard SATA drive, the Z77 model has dual 6Gbps ports and the same number of 3Gbps ones. The H77-ITX bumps the number of 3Gbps ports up to three and adds an eSATA connector to the rear cluster. Both models feature four USB 3.0 ports fed by the Intel platform hubs, which also provides plenty of digital display outputs. The Z77-ITX has a pair of HDMI outputs and one Mini DisplayPort connector, while the H77-ITX has DVI, DisplayPort, and HDMI outs.
Zotac tells us the Z77 model will sell for $159, 30 bucks more than the H77-ITX. It's worth noting that these aren't the only Mini-ITX boards primed for Ivy Bridge. Asus has a slick-looking mini Z77 board of its own, and that product has already arrived in the Benchmarking Sweatshop. Perhaps a midget motherboard showdown is in order.
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