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Old 14th Apr 2012, 23:17   #1
AT0MAC
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Buy now or wait for Ivy Bridge?

I'm in the market for a mITX Atom board, something like the D525 ASUS AT5NM10T-I.

In my daily life I use Mac, so am not so deep into what goes on in the general hardware world.
Have heard a little about this upcoming Ivy Bridge and am wondering if they will affect the mITX boards as well - i mean, is there new models on its way for that segment and would/should that affect prices on the models that are here now (the ASUS cost now about 67)?

Also, if so there are IB upgrades on its way for mITX, when do you think they will arrive?
I need the new board at the latest in beginning of May.
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Old 15th Apr 2012, 00:25   #2
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These ""all in one"" motherboards, where the CPU and GPU is included are of it's own class of it's own. Ivy Bridge won't play with the price, but a new (and only IF it's faster, and not more power efficient or support different type of RAM, for example) Atom process will reduce the price of your motherboard.

What will change however, when Ivy Bridge FULL line of processor is out, is motherboard that embedded the ultra low voltage processors, or allows you to put a processor, will reduce in price of the current generation similar solution.

As for your motherboard selection, I would highly recommend a different motherboard. It's not the brand that is wrong, it's the features. Get one that has:

-> A dedicated low-end GPU such as an Nvidia Geforce GTX 520. The performance increase of current Intel graphic solution for the Atom processor, will allow you get similar performance as Intel Ivy Bridge integrated graphic solution, in other words: Support AND have a great experience on a high resolution screen such as 1920x1200 or higher. (Remember that Aero, Windows Vista/7/8 interface engine, is using your graphic card to draw everything, and not the CPU like Windows XP and older. (that was one reason why people hated Vista, because they had a choppy interface experience, not because Vista sucked, but because they didn't have the graphic card power to render the interface). Also, you will be able to play 1080p videos perfectly smoothly without issues, as well as gaming at low settings.

-> eSATA, if you ever want to do backup, or have an external storage, you will love this connection. It's the same SATA connector inside your computer, but made external. So you have the same speed and optimization for super fast data transfer.

-> USB 3.0. While you might not use it, it should be a feature to look for, for a 2012 solution. But it's not a must.

-> DVI / DisplayPort.The ASUS board that you are looking at, only has a pathetic VGA plug. A 1920x1080 resolution would push your VGA connectivity to it's limit. Any strong interference received from the cable (so cable quality, length, and where you live) can easily make your text fuzzy, and image not super sharp. Get a motherboard that offer AT LEAST DVI, to avoid any of these potential problems.

I suggest the following: ZOTAC D2700-ITX WiFi Supreme
- Dual core Atom 2.13GHz (so faster, also latest Atom processor)
- Support DDR3 1066Mhz memory
- Geforce GT 520
- HDMI 1.4a, DisplayPort (ready for new monitors), DVI and VGA (via DVI to VGA adapter provided)
- Wireless N
- Bluetooth
- 16x PCI-E
- Gigabit Ethernet
- No eSATA, sadly, but easy to get an adapter. (again, it's exactly the same connector, just the plug shape is different to hold better for external usage. So your case might even have a frontal eSATA, which you connect to a SATA plug inside your computer)
- 2x USB 3.0
- 2x USB 2.0

I didn't check the price, but it should be a bit more expensive than your ASUS. But, I have an Nvidia ION platform (mother computer), and while it's an amazing little system, so so cheap (especially if you already have a Windows 7 license), you want the fastest Atom, dual core possible for a great experience.
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Old 15th Apr 2012, 00:41   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodBytes View Post
I suggest the following: ZOTAC D2700-ITX WiFi Supreme
- Dual core Atom 2.13GHz (so faster, also latest Atom processor)
- Support DDR3 1066Mhz memory
- Geforce GT 520
- HDMI 1.4a, DisplayPort (ready for new monitors), DVI and VGA (via DVI to VGA adapter provided)
- Wireless N
- Bluetooth
- 16x PCI-E
- Gigabit Ethernet
- No eSATA, sadly, but easy to get an adapter. (again, it's exactly the same connector, just the plug shape is different to hold better for external usage. So your case might even have a frontal eSATA, which you connect to a SATA plug inside your computer)
- 2x USB 3.0
- 2x USB 2.0
Thank you for the reply about pricing

Also, a very nice board you point at, but a little outside what I need.


I'm building a small NAS system running FreeNAS 8 or Ubuntu Server, both wich can be run as a remote desktop connection to another monitor, without the need for a super powerfull GPU.
Also, whenever I do need to run a display directly off the machine, my current monitor (Dell 2209WA) supports both DVI (wich I use from my Mac) and VGA at the same time, just switching back and forth.

The CPU is also already more than enough to drive a NAS, two-three times the power most NAS drives have.

The board I have found have 4x SATA ports, wich ties very nicely into that I eventually want to drive it in RAID1 or RAID5 with either 2 or 3 drives attached at the same time. Even maybe move the OS from a USB key to a real SSD one day. If I want to upgrade from software RAID to hardware based RAIDs, then the best controller cards that fit into my budget use PCI Express 4x, wich is exactly what this MB have.

My MB is passive cooled and I can therefor make an extremely low noise system, your MB have active cooling.

Because of all the things I would most likely not use on the board you suggest, then the added 100 it costs here is not really worth the price.


But, is there any other board you think I should consider?
I am open for suggestions
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Old 15th Apr 2012, 00:45   #4
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Ah! Ok, I thought you wanted to do a small home server (Linux or Windows Home Server) or a small low cost general purpose Windows machine or something along that line.

So, yes the ASUS board is perfect for your needs. I don't know if you have the best price or not, I don't follow U.K prices, cause you know, I don't live in the U.K. Just letting you know.
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Old 15th Apr 2012, 00:53   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodBytes View Post
Ah! Ok, I thought you wanted to do a small home server (Linux or Windows Home Server) or a small low cost general purpose Windows machine or something along that line.

So, yes the ASUS board is perfect for your needs. I don't know if you have the best price or not, I don't follow U.K prices, cause you know, I don't live in the U.K. Just letting you know.
Hehe, me too I don't live in the UK, I'm from Denmark - but prices look more or less the same on MBs in EU anyway.
You can say it's a small home server, just without it's head so not a real need for the DP/HDMI/DVI output. Have also considered Microsoft Home Server and run it via remote desktop, but it have a strange 128GB requirement for it's OS drive...

Have thought about making it a combined HTPC/NAS, but my wife liked the idea about keeping it under the sofa much better than putting it in plain sight, then eventually an Apple TV or something like that is much easier to hide nicely away.
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Old 15th Apr 2012, 09:40   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AT0MAC View Post
I'm in the market for a mITX Atom board, something like the D525 ASUS AT5NM10T-I.

In my daily life I use Mac, so am not so deep into what goes on in the general hardware world.
Have heard a little about this upcoming Ivy Bridge and am wondering if they will affect the mITX boards as well - i mean, is there new models on its way for that segment and would/should that affect prices on the models that are here now (the ASUS cost now about 67)?

Also, if so there are IB upgrades on its way for mITX, when do you think they will arrive?
I need the new board at the latest in beginning of May.
http://www.nordichardware.com/news/6...dy-bridge.html
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Old 16th Apr 2012, 15:18   #7
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Ivy is so close to release that you may as well wait just that little bit
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