You might remember our first brush with Intel's Thin Mini-ITX platform. It was in August of last year, and we looked at an all-in-one PC based on the standard. The machine was built entirely out of off-the-shelf components, including a slim Intel motherboard and an iMac-like chassis that's available at Amazon.
Well, other manufacturers are joining the fray. Gigabyte tells us it has two Thin Mini-ITX motherboards in the pipeline for this month: the GA-H77TN and GA-B75TN.
The two boards have pretty much the same feature loadout, which includes an LGA1155 socket, quad USB 3.0 ports, quad Serial ATA ports, dual SO-DIMM slots, an open-ended PCI Express x4 slot, and dual Mini PCI Express slots that can accommodate a solid-state drive and a Wi-Fi controller. Both boards have DisplayPort and HDMI outputs, too. In an all-in-one system, the display will be hooked up via an onboard header, not through the outputs in the port cluster. Of course, Thin Mini-ITX doesn't automatically imply all-in-one—there are also ultra-thin traditional cases based on the standard.
At a glance, the only notable difference between the GA-H77TN and the GA-B75TN (beyond the fact that they're using different platform hubs) is that the former has two 6Gbps Serial ATA ports (colored orange), while the latter's SATA connectivity seems to be limited to 3Gbps. This appears to be more of a product segmentation move than a platform limitation. A look at Intel's spec sheet for the B75 Express suggests the chipset does have native 6Gbps connectivity.
Gigabyte seems to be emphasizing the embedded PC space—point-of-sale systems, automotive PCs, and the like—with these mobos. The company mentioned features like add-on risers with COM ports and support for both 12V and 19V DC input voltages. Nevertheless, enthusiasts will be able to find the GA-H77TN and GA-B75TN at retail, and both boards will feature the same UEFI interface as Gigabyte's regular desktop offerings. Having some extra retail options will definitely be nice. A search for "Thin Mini-ITX" at Newegg right now only brings up an out-of-stock ECS mobo and a couple of enclosures from In Win and SilverStone.