CES — Although it's better known for its line of GeForce graphics cards, Zotac gave us the goods on a couple of upcoming motherboards that look rather interesting. The first of these is a Mini-ITX board based on Nvidia's GeForce 9300 integrated graphics chipset. With an LGA775 socket and support for front-side bus speeds up to 1333MHz, the GeForce 9300-ITX WiFi will work with just about any Core 2 processor, including quad-core chips.
Thanks to its integrated GeForce, the board has not only a competent 3D graphics core, but also the ability to accelerate Blu-ray playback. In a nod to the home theater PC crowd, Zotac equips the 9300-ITX with an HDMI output that can pass eight-channel LPCM audio—a trick AMD's integrated graphics chipsets have yet to master. There's a PCI Express x16 slot on the board, too, should you wish to run a discrete graphics card or take advantage of the chipset's Hybrid SLI functionality.
As its name suggests, the 9300-ITX WiFi comes with wireless capabilities in the form of an integrated 802.11b/g adapter. You also get a couple of Serial ATA ports, one eSATA port, and two standard DDR2 DIMM slots. Zotac expects the 9300-ITX to be available in mid-February at a suggested retail price of $139.99.
Perhaps even more intriguing than Zotac's latest foray into the world of Mini-ITX is word that the company has an X58-based motherboard up its sleeve. Plenty of motherboard makers had X58 boards on display at CES, but Zotac's offering will apparently sell for around $160, making it quite a bit cheaper than most. We're trying to get our hands on one to see how it stacks up against the usual suspects.