Z68, 890GX chipsets pop up on Zotac Mini-ITX mobos

Computex — As one might expect, Zotac is displaying all sorts of Mini-ITX goodness in Taipei, Taiwan this week. The most intriguing board of the bunch is probably the Z68-ITX WiFi, which squeezes Intel's latest core-logic chipset onto a positively tiny motherboard.

Despite its diminutive proportions, the board features a PCI Express x16 slot, two DIMM slots, USB 3.0 connectivity, and a trio of display outputs: one Mini DisplayPort and two HDMI. The mini PCI Express slot for the 802.11n Wi-Fi card doubles as an mSATA slot if you'd rather run a Smart Response solid-state drive. Alternatively, you could use one of the four Serial ATA ports that poke out from the board. Expect the Z68-ITX WiFi to be available soon with an asking price around $160.

Not content to offer just one Z68 design, Zotac is prepping a second Mini-ITX model with a discrete graphics processor built right in. The GPU in question is a lowly GeForce GT 430, which will at least be faster than Sandy Bridge's integrated GPU. If you'd rather run something with a little more oomph, the board's open-ended PCI Express x4 slot should accept full-sized graphics cards.

On the AMD front, Zotac has whipped a Mini-ITX spin on the 890GX. The board combines the chipset's Radeon HD 4290 integrated graphics with 128MB of dedicated memory and a PCI Express x16 slot for discrete graphics cards. This puppy uses SO-DIMM slots, likely because the chipset is a two-chip solution that takes up precious board real estate. Alas, the AM3 socket lacks the + necessary to guarantee support for upcoming Bulldozer-based Zambezi APUs. It will accept current-generation Phenom IIs with TDP ratings up to 140W, though.

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