Review of Zotac ION Intel ATOM
1.6GHz processor with NVIDIA ION chipset
Bluetooth 8 Jun 2009
Custom designed Atom Board based on NVIDIA
ION the Zotac ION
NetPCs seem to be the next wave that will strike
the PC industry. With more and more people going for small footprint PCs, NetPCs
will probably sell as much as Netbooks in the near future.
In the past, we have reviewed a couple of atom
mainboards. So far, most of it are based on the Intel aging Intel 945GC and ICH7 chipsets
to power the Intel Atom N270 processor. The onboard memory support is only up to
An aging chipset comes with a tested integrated
graphics the GMA 950. These integrated graphics supports minimal features. The
ICH7 that pairs with it supports the on board connectors etc.
With NVIDIA ION, that is going to change. The Zotac
ION mainboard has an on board Intel Atom N330, a dual core processor that is
clocked at 1.6GHz. The ION chipset which is basically a reinvention of the
defunt MCP7A comes into play. This chipset
is known as GeForce 9400M and comes with GPU Shader clock of 1.1GHz. It supports
DX10, OpenGL 2.1, NVIDIA® CUDA™ and PhysX™ games with ease.
To power up the board is as easy as ABC. Just plug
in the DC power supply that comes with the board and you are basically to rock
and roll. Zotac also included 802.11n wireless networok module onboard for
speedy wireless connection. It also has a HDCP compliant HDMI port for playback
of protected video content. Audio can be pumped out of the system via S/PDIF.
For the conventional display users, you can use DVI or D-SUB for dispay output.