Monday, December 28th 2009

ASRock Intros A330ION mini-ITX Motherboard

To build on the popularity of its NVIDIA ION based nettops, ASRock plans to release a new Intel Atom + NVIDIA ION motherboard based on the mini-ITX form factor, in 2010. The motherboard will be one of the first of its kind, with a stronger memory sub-system. The NVIDIA ION chipset will drive dual-channel DDR3 1066 MHz memory. The board makes use of dual-core Atom 330 processor which is passively cooled, while the NVIDIA ION chipset is cooled actively. The chipset embeds DirectX 10 compliant NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics. It gives out four internal SATA 3 Gb/s ports and two Power-eSATA (eSATA+USB combo) ports making use of all its ATA channels. The lone expansion slot is a PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (full-bandwidth).

ASRock-exclusive features include Dura-Cap Japanese solid-state capacitors, Instant Boot, Instant Flash, OC DNA, and Night LED. Connectivity includes 8-channel HD audio with optical SPDIF driven by VIA VT2020 CODEC, gigabit Ethernet, six external and four internal USB 2.0 ports, and display connectivity which includes DVI-D, D-Sub, and HDMI. While the motherboard supports up to 4 GB of memory, the graphics processor supports full-HD display resolutions including smooth playback of HD video. It passes Windows 7 compatibility. ASRock is yet to reveal pricing and availability.

Source: ASRock
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9 Comments on ASRock Intros A330ION mini-ITX Motherboard

Very interesting. A standard P/S connector and PC-X 2.0X16 slot. Wheels beginning to spin. Could this be the foundation for my next project?
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NastyHabits said:
Very interesting. A standard P/S connector and PC-X 2.0X16 slot. Wheels beginning to spin.
It isn't uncommon for today's motherboards to have PS/2 connectors.

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I was refering to the Power Supply connector. Most mini-itx boards use an external brick.
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Atom 330, DDR3, ION. Very interesting. Shame they can't reorganise the board so they can have a larger passive heatsink for the ION. In fact, it already looks well laid out. Perhaps they could improve the chipset heatink before launch. Add a couple of months and perhaps we will see an ION2 passive. Nice.
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NastyHabits said:
I was refering to the Power Supply connector. Most mini-itx boards use an external brick.
Most of the ones I have looked at use a regular 20 or 24 pin connector on the MB. The external brick is just where the conversion to 12Vdc occurs. There is usually another board inside the case that splits the voltage off to the proper pins, further converts the 12Vdc to 5Vdc and regulates the voltage(s) as needed.

I'm not saying this isn't worth consideration for your project... it looks like a hot little Atom MB. Just understand that there are a lot of cases out there that come with a little ~60w psu that includes an external brick and an internal card with all the normal plugs you would expect to see. Some MiniITX cases come with a full blown 300-400w psu capable of powering nice mid sized video cards like the GT250. You also have PicoPSU out there with their impossibly tiny power supplies up to 150w that isn't much bigger than the 24pin MB plug it is attached to (they also utilize an external brick).

I just built a MiniITX system using Zotac's GF9300 and a 150w PicoPSU. The Gigabyte case I put it all in came with a 65w psu that wasn't quite powerful enough to run the system with an E8500. It would probably have done fine with an Atom board like this one. Compared to other processors, Atoms like to sip electrons rather than go into electron gluttony.
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wondering if u can replace the ion cooler with, lets say, a thermalright hr-01 ifx. That would be awesome
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You could probably find a nice aftermarket Northbridge cooler for a 775 motherboard and put that on the ION! Would the 9400M be capable of hybrid SLI?
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^ Haven't seen it done yet, but I've read that ION does support Hybrid SLI.
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Thanks BTA

I've been tossing around an ATOM project and was leaning towards an ECS board for the PCI-E, but now seeing this board I have to think it all over.

I like the Ion over the 945, guess it's gonna come down to price and case size....
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