Zotac whips up tiny AMD mobos with SATA6, USB3

Over the past few years, Zotac has made a name for itself as a purveyor of Mini-ITX motherboards with surprisingly potent components and expansion capabilities. The company’s latest two products in that category feature AMD 880-series integrated graphics chipsets, and one of them is unique in that it’s the “world’s first” desktop platform to feature one of AMD’s new mobile CPUs—or so Zotac claims, anyway.

The M880G-ITX WiFi, as it’s called, couples an M880G chipset with a dual-core Turion II Neo K625 processor clocked at 1.5GHz. We saw pretty much the same CPU and chipset combo this summer inside Toshiba’s Nile-powered Satellite T235D notebook. Here, Zotac has served up the components on a Mini-ITX board with six Serial ATA 6Gbps ports, dual USB 3.0 ports, conventional DDR3 DIMM slots (none of that SO-DIMM nonsense, thank you very much), PCI Express x1 expansion, and both HDMI and DVI video outputs.

As you can see in the photo above, Zotac cools the whole contraption with some rather beefy aluminum heatsinks and a single fan. Considering these are mobile components meant to fit inside a slim consumer ultraportable, there shouldn’t be too much heat to dissipate.

Zotac has also announced the AM3 880G-ITX WiFi, which looks very similar on paper but trades the pre-mounted mobile CPU with an empty AM3 CPU socket. It also has a desktop-flavored 880G chipset and two fewer Serial ATA ports than the M880G-ITX WiFi. Socket AM3 processors with thermal envelopes up to 95W are supported, but you’ll have to bring your own heatsink and fan here. Check out the image gallery below for images of the two newcomers.

Comments closed
    • amirol
    • 9 years ago

    Is it a good move for AMD or Zotak? what will happen for Zotak after what we see came for xFx?

    • amirol
    • 9 years ago

    OH Zotak are you Zocate ?!

    • Kent_dieGo
    • 9 years ago

    It all looks awesome except for the crappy little fan on top. Either go 100% passive or have a quiet PWM temperature controlled 120mm fan covering the entire heat sink area.

      • crabjokeman
      • 9 years ago

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels this way.

    • TheTechReporter
    • 9 years ago

    Am I the only one bothered by the fact that SATA 3 is referred to as “SATA6”?

      • Tuanies
      • 9 years ago

      Its SATA Revision 3.0, or SATA 6.0 Gb/s officially, according to the SATA organization

    • Xenolith
    • 9 years ago

    As far as AM3 mini-itx – the asus offering is better – §[<http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131659<]§ Has a PCIe x16 slot.

      • eitje
      • 9 years ago

      also uses SO-DIMMs, which is a neg (from my perspective).

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 9 years ago

      This is made out of extremely low power laptop parts. Apples and oranges. Most people get these sorts of things for HTPCs and there’s not much of a reason those should be using desktop parts in this day and age.

    • jensend
    • 9 years ago

    Reading “one of AMD’s new mobile CPUs” I was interested.

    Then I clicked the article link and found this is still Nile, not Zacate/Ontario. Not too sure what makes this enough of a difference from the high-efficiency desktop AM3 procs for Zotac to bother doing it.

    • Amourek
    • 9 years ago

    Zotac + slow integrated CPU + PCI-E 1x = FAIL. It’s slower and presumably less energy efficient than their CULV offerings. And what’s the point of having SATA 6Gbps on this?

      • indeego
      • 9 years ago

      I’m beginning to wonder what is the point of SATA anymoreg{<.<}g

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 9 years ago

      Whatchutalkinbout Willis? This is a “CULV” platform, hence the “Neo” moniker.

      A fair majority of the various AMD Phenom-based laptop CPUs are very low power, even if they aren’t “Neos.”

    • allston232
    • 9 years ago

    2 antennae.

    • StuG
    • 9 years ago

    Is anyone else disappointing that the expansion slot is PCI-E x1 rather than PCI-E x16?

    • El_Angelo
    • 9 years ago

    first am3 mini-itx board i’m seeing with full size memory slots…

      • Bauxite
      • 9 years ago

      I’ve been following ddr3 prices on newegg waiting to buy a ton, and the price difference between desktop and so-dimm is not there.

      If it means one more component or better layout on an itx board, all the OEMs should do it.

        • OneArmedScissor
        • 9 years ago

        It’s pretty silly in this day and age of 4GB so-dimms that there are multiple standards, but whatever. It’s probably wishful thinking to believe they’d even knock $1 off the price tag of something that often makes no money by moving to a universal standard.

        But what’s really silly is that you can’t get low voltage so-dimms. You’d think they’d all be low voltage…

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 9 years ago

    The real bummer here is not so much that it’s late, but that they didn’t use a quad-core. Wtfbbq?!? Those are low voltage, too! So now it will have a pretty much equal CPU, but worse graphics than what will be available within a few months.

    • flip-mode
    • 9 years ago

    Do want.

    But it seems kind of stupid to buy these if you can wait for some Bobcat versions with Fusion, which should have broader, longer, and better support in varous OSs and applications than the 880G.

      • NeelyCam
      • 9 years ago

      Yeah – put a Zacate in and remove the fan, and we’ll talk.

        • OneArmedScissor
        • 9 years ago

        I don’t know which is funnier – the ginormous, all encompassing heatsink array, or the tiny fan tacked on top of it. That made me do a double take when I first saw it. I really wasn’t sure what I was looking at.

        I don’t mind tiny fans if you can set them to not spin up. It’s not like this thing is exactly in spontaneous combustion territory.

          • UberGerbil
          • 9 years ago

          Yeah, it’s a shame they didn’t provide (or provide the mounting option for) a 12cm (slow-turning) fan which I think (just eyeballing) would pretty much cover everything between the slots and the backplate. Of course your enclosure might provide sufficient airflow that you can go totally passive.

            • flip-mode
            • 9 years ago

            Funnily enough, I had the exact same thought – could I fix a 120mm fan to that?

      • Deanjo
      • 9 years ago

      l[

    • jdaven
    • 9 years ago

    Looks nice and almost all legacy hardware has been removed except that pesky ps/2 port. Get rid of that, add EFI and we are finally in the modern age.

    Unfortunately, it takes small form factors with limited space to get mobo manufacturers to be more choosy and get rid of legacy interfaces.

      • UberGerbil
      • 9 years ago

      Any kind of desktop board without at least one PS/2 port is automatically on my “will not buy” list. The PS/2 keyboards I love have been with me for 20 years (+/- 5, I have several) and I’m not giving them up.

      Granted, it’s a bit less applicable in this particular product because its likely uses are industrial / embedded and the only application I personally would find for it is as an HTPC, where I’d probably make do with a wireless USB mini keyboard anyway. But my general rule about the necessity of a PS/2 port still stands. Its existence doesn’t require new R&D or impede other features or eliminate anything from the backplane, so there’s no cost to having it.

        • yuriylsh
        • 9 years ago

        totally agree

        • TheTechReporter
        • 9 years ago

        Seems a little extreme to me, considering that you can buy a PS/2 to USB adapter to permanently attach to your keyboard for very little money.

          • UberGerbil
          • 9 years ago

          Yeah, it’s about $15 for one that actually works. I still would rather just have the port on the motherboard, since there’s no harm to having it there. And a long as the choice is available, that’s what I’ll be doing.

          • Kurotetsu
          • 9 years ago

          The thing about PS/2 keyboard ports is that using it enables certain features like N-key rollover (press N number of keys simultaneously and they’ll all register), which you lose when you switch over to USB. So, unlike PS/2 mouse ports, the keyboard port is actually BETTER than USB in some ways.

            • indeego
            • 9 years ago

            Source? I always thought this was a function of the keyboard, not the interfaceg{<.<}g

            • Bauxite
            • 9 years ago

            USB cannot do full n-key, the HID design limits it to 6.

            source: lmgtfy.com

            The keyboard can still be worse though, most are pieces of junk that fake rollover with “common” characters but are /[

      • Usacomp2k3
      • 9 years ago

      At least there’s only 1.

    • zdw
    • 9 years ago

    ECC support?

    If so, this would make a kick-ass home server platform, especially considering the 6x 6Gbps SATA.

      • Usacomp2k3
      • 9 years ago

      WHS is dying.. 🙁
      Agreed though. That was my first thought too.

    • mesyn191
    • 9 years ago

    This thing is great if its reasonably priced but why the hell didn’t they come out with it half a year ago instead of now when Bobcat is just a month or 2 away?

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 9 years ago

      The lag time on AMD mini-ITX boards is ridiculous. There wasn’t a 785G until the 880Gs were out, and the Asus 880G still isn’t a “real” one since it has the 710 southbridge.

      Good thing that’s all Bobcat is for. Imagine how absurd it would be if ATX boards show up in stores in a few months. :p

    • Farting Bob
    • 9 years ago

    Whats with the 2 Antennas?

      • sweatshopking
      • 9 years ago

      what’s with the farting man on a roll!!! well done again sir!

        • Farting Bob
        • 9 years ago

        Im currently snowed in so hitting F5 ever 8 seconds is the only thing keeping me sane.

      • khands
      • 9 years ago

      Considering the “wifi” in the name I’m guessing it’s wifi antennas, probably for wireless n.

        • Farting Bob
        • 9 years ago

        I know that, but why 2? 1 does the job just fine. Is this more of a placebo for customers who think 2 antennas = twice the strength?

          • Bauxite
          • 9 years ago

          2×2 (mimo) is not a placebo, neither is diversity.

          In backhaul, properly done horizontal + vertical polarity don’t interfere, you pretty much double the bandwidth.

          I think you’re just another random dumb troll though, dunno why I bother replying.

            • NeelyCam
            • 9 years ago

            More likely he was a #1 post whore, and it’s cooler to say something other than “First!”

            • ludi
            • 9 years ago

            Maybe it was an honest curiosity question.

            • flip-mode
            • 9 years ago

            Erring on the side of caution? Nice! I agree, anyway, than it seemed to be stated as an honest question.

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