Mini-ITX mobo mixes dual-core Atom, Ion, USB 3.0

Asus isn't kidding around with its latest Atom motherboard. The company seems to have attempted to cram as many features and components as possible into a mini-ITX form factor, and it appears to have succeeded. The AT5IONT-I is a sight to behold.

At its heart, this board includes a dual-core Atom D525 processor and next-generation Nvidia Ion graphics with 512MB of dedicated RAM. Both components are soldered on and hidden behind a massive passive heatsink. The remainder of the board's surface houses an open-ended PCIe x4 slot, dual SATA ports, and what looks like two DDR3 SO-DIMM slots. Meanwhile, the I/O pane brings together HDMI, eSATA, and USB 3.0. (Yes, this Atom motherboard has USB 3.0 connectivity.)

Talk about a nice home-theater PC mobo. There is one little caveat, though: the price. According to Fudzilla, Asus will charge over €140 in Europe for this product. That means U.S. pricing may end fall north of $150, which just ain't cheap for an Atom board. Then again, considering how much Asus packs on that tiny circuit board, you could probably still get away with a relatively cheap AT5IONT-I-powered HTPC build.

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