Zotac GeForce 9300-ITX WiFi: Good Things Come in Small Packa

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Zotac GeForce 9300-ITX WiFi: Good Things Come in Small Packa

Post by MikeC » Thu May 14, 2009 7:58 am

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Re: Zotac GeForce 9300-ITX WiFi: Good Things Come in Small P

Post by LodeHacker » Thu May 14, 2009 8:50 am

Lovely, just lovely! Excellent review!

Say Mike is there any better Mini-ITX solution than this one basing on Intel / NVIDIA? (Better meaning more bang for my buck ;) )
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Re: Zotac GeForce 9300-ITX WiFi: Good Things Come in Small P

Post by shleepy » Thu May 14, 2009 9:04 am

LodeHacker wrote:
Lovely, just lovely! Excellent review!

Say Mike is there any better Mini-ITX solution than this one basing on Intel / NVIDIA? (Better meaning more bang for my buck ;) )
There are virtually no other great mini-ITX solutions for LGA775, let alone one with onboard Nvidia graphics! :P
Last edited by shleepy on Thu May 14, 2009 10:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Meato » Thu May 14, 2009 9:32 am

What is the target market for this product? Or maybe applications is a better term.
I recently read the review of Zotac's Ion board(s) and am confused as to where these boards are most at home. In what circumstances do the differing products excel?

With that said, these are two exciting products (9300-ITX WiFi and Ion) and another stellar review Mike!

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Post by MikeC » Thu May 14, 2009 9:37 am

Please give credit where it's due. Larry wrote the piece; I only did the superb editing. :wink:
Last edited by MikeC on Thu May 14, 2009 10:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Meato » Thu May 14, 2009 9:50 am

Okay, stellar review Larry! Way to delegate tasks Mike. :lol:

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Post by Lawrence Lee » Thu May 14, 2009 9:52 am

LodeHacker wrote: Say Mike is there any better Mini-ITX solution than this one basing on Intel / NVIDIA? (Better meaning more bang for my buck ;) )
The selection of Intel/Mini-ITX boards is scant whether they be based on nVidia or Intel chipsets. Check out what Newegg has to offer.

Meato wrote:What is the target market for this product? Or maybe applications is a better term.
High-end/gaming as it supports 95W quad cores and a full sized PCI-E slot. It's also suited for a HTPC, but kinda overkill.

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Post by shleepy » Thu May 14, 2009 9:59 am

Lawrence Lee wrote: High-end/gaming as it supports 95W quad cores and a full sized PCI-E slot. It's also suited for a HTPC, but kinda overkill.
I would argue that it's not TOO overkill. If you use the onboard video, put a TV tuner in the PCIe slot, and use a Core 2 Duo of some sort, you've got yourself a fairly efficient, very small, and very fast HTPC, with WiFi included. And for Mini-ITX, it's not too expensive, either, given the performance.

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picopsu

Post by Worker control » Thu May 14, 2009 10:14 am

I'm curious if power usage is lower with a picopsu / 12V brick combo. That's the setup that I'd expect many people to use with this, and 35W is a lot lower than 400W.

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Thank you!

Post by fri2219 » Thu May 14, 2009 11:08 am

I've been hoping for a review written for adults on this mobo for several weeks.

Thank you for addressing subjects I care about, in contrast to making me wade through pages of blinking ads peppered with a few sentences focusing on FPS in poorly coded first person shooters.

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Re: picopsu

Post by MikeC » Thu May 14, 2009 11:09 am

Worker control wrote:I'm curious if power usage is lower with a picopsu / 12V brick combo. That's the setup that I'd expect many people to use with this, and 35W is a lot lower than 400W.
Yes. This has been well documented in the past. With a high efficiency AC/DC adapter, you might see AC power draw dropping by as much as 5W, maybe even a bit more. In our reviews, we're generally more concerned about comparability rather than absolutely lowest power -- ie, comparing this board to others in the past -- which is why we've been using the same PSU for most mobo reviews for quite a while. Not only the same model but the same exact PSU. We figure changes in this unit due to wear and tear are minimal -- the thing is only on for a few hours for each mobo test but otherwise sitting idle.
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Post by fri2219 » Thu May 14, 2009 11:12 am

shleepy wrote: If you use the onboard video, put a TV tuner in the PCIe slot
If you really want to grab the low voltage/low heat brass ring, use a USB tuner- that's where I'm headed with my next HTPC build. (The Hauppage 1600 card is easily the hottest thing in my current HTPC, including the CPU)

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Post by LiquidRain » Thu May 14, 2009 11:14 am

I was honestly hoping to see more info on heatsink compatibility - I'd love to be able to see if one of these things can handle something low-power/efficient like an E5200 without a fan at all if equipped with a large enough heatsink. (hey, if my old Socket939 Athlon64 X2 can run without a fan on a good heatsink...)

Great article nonetheless.

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Re: Zotac GeForce 9300-ITX WiFi: Good Things Come in Small P

Post by croddie » Thu May 14, 2009 11:18 am

LodeHacker wrote:Excellent review!
x2

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Post by jessekopelman » Thu May 14, 2009 11:45 am

Meato wrote: I recently read the review of Zotac's Ion board(s) and am confused as to where these boards are most at home. In what circumstances do the differing products excel?
Big advantage of Atom/Ion is that you can easily get buy a tiny CPU heatsink. If having the absolutely smallest formfactor is your goal, this or some sort of MoDT solution is your best bet.

Ion is perfectly capable of playing Blu-Ray and properly encoded H264 content. If that is all you want to do with your HTPC, you are all set. Atom, however, is fairly lacking as a CPU for normal desktop tasks. Performance of the 330 is generally only comparable to a 4 year old Pentium M, and far worse for tasks that are not multithreaded. If you want to take advantage of the PC aspects of HTPC, Ion may be a bit lacking. For me the biggest issue is streaming media. I think this is far more important than Blu-Ray performance (I'd rather have a standalone player and avoid all the software issues caused by DRM). It is still unknown how well Ion can handle streaming media, but it is unlikely the answer will be better than barely adequate. If you are doing a lot of web-based stuff on your HTPC, 35W Celeron + 9300 will likely kick the ass of Ion. 45W X2 + 8200 would probably be even better, but that Zotac board isn't quite as full featured as the Intel ones (it is cheaper though).

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Post by b3nbranch » Thu May 14, 2009 1:03 pm

I agree ... great article on this mini-ITX compared to the others
I've found.

I'm thinking that in a larger mini-ITX case (Sugo SG05?) with a
picoPSU (no power supply inside the case) you could possibly put one of
several substantial heat sinks in there. In another thread, a poster put
this board in a shorter mini-ITX case and, by using a picoPSU, fit a
Thermalright XP-90 in there. (He had to cut a little bit off the
heatsink base to avoid interference with those nearby capacitors).
E7500, Zotac GF9300-I-E, Lian-Li Q03b, picoPSU-150-XT, 4GB DDR2-800, 128 GB Samsung 830 SSD, 500GB 2.5" Hitachi Travelstar, XUbuntu 14.04 64-bit
My blog ...

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Post by shleepy » Thu May 14, 2009 1:17 pm

b3nbranch wrote:I agree ... great article on this mini-ITX compared to the others
I've found.

I'm thinking that in a larger mini-ITX case (Sugo SG05?) with a
picoPSU (no power supply inside the case) you could possibly put one of
several substantial heat sinks in there. In another thread, a poster put
this board in a shorter mini-ITX case and, by using a picoPSU, fit a
Thermalright XP-90 in there. (He had to cut a little bit off the
heatsink base to avoid interference with those nearby capacitors).
A Shuriken fits in the SG05 without even taking out the standard PSU, and I think the XP-90 might, as well. The other limiting factor in that particular case would be on the side of the HDD bracket, since the heatsink would most likely reach that side, as well.

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Post by Monkeh16 » Thu May 14, 2009 2:05 pm

This is even more frugal when you consider that we've seen USB 802.11g adapters burning up 10~15W.
Considering USB 1.1/2.0 only supplies 2.5W per port, I'd like to see that.

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Post by matt_garman » Thu May 14, 2009 2:25 pm

Maybe I missed it, but what was the state of the WiFi when you took the idle power reading? Just wondering how many watts the wireless circuit needs.

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Post by Monkeh16 » Thu May 14, 2009 2:29 pm

matt_garman wrote:Maybe I missed it, but what was the state of the WiFi when you took the idle power reading? Just wondering how many watts the wireless circuit needs.
You missed it. Bottom of page five. The absolute maximum it can pull is 5W anyway.

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Post by LiquidRain » Thu May 14, 2009 2:55 pm

Monkeh16 wrote:
matt_garman wrote:Maybe I missed it, but what was the state of the WiFi when you took the idle power reading? Just wondering how many watts the wireless circuit needs.
You missed it. Bottom of page five. The absolute maximum it can pull is 5W anyway.
Actually, USB devices can request more power from the motherboard, if the motherboard is willing to dish more. This is how most cell phone USB chargers work. (otherwise, yes, you're correct, 5W maximum)

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Post by colm » Thu May 14, 2009 3:40 pm

I go mini-itx next :)
Maybe not this board, but it is meeting my simple goals. I wonder what editing does, and the tests in review, if that was just playback, 68% cpu for a vc-1 vid is a problem, I noticed the others are using way too much as well. Indicates lack of integrated graphics in thier integrated graphics...

all my systems with a vid card, use 10-12% cpu in playback, and more imprtantly (to me) I just got an editor not long ago, to use more than 60% cpu and 512mb memory to encode. so software is almost here, and this mini-itx isn't...

I don't like the graphics for this mini-itx. thanks for review.
DSFg$57%udRTYnh

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Post by Monkeh16 » Thu May 14, 2009 4:29 pm

LiquidRain wrote:
Monkeh16 wrote:
matt_garman wrote:Maybe I missed it, but what was the state of the WiFi when you took the idle power reading? Just wondering how many watts the wireless circuit needs.
You missed it. Bottom of page five. The absolute maximum it can pull is 5W anyway.
Actually, USB devices can request more power from the motherboard, if the motherboard is willing to dish more. This is how most cell phone USB chargers work. (otherwise, yes, you're correct, 5W maximum)
And still, they can only pull 7.5W from a single port, and most host controllers don't support that. Any wireless card which pulls 15W is either very, very poorly designed, or is putting out so much power it's breaking every law on radiated emissions I know of. And would need a hell of a heatsink. And would still require two ports.

E: Even the ICH10 doesn't appear to support battery charging. If it does they don't say so in any datasheets.

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Post by wim » Thu May 14, 2009 5:31 pm

this looks good.. can anyone tell me what is the max resolution from that DVI? would it drive a dell 30" at 2560x1600 ok?

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Post by Ant6n » Thu May 14, 2009 9:58 pm

ironically, i would've liked to see a tv-out. there are some out there still trying to run an htpc or small file server on a 'normal' tv.

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Post by Praxis1452 » Thu May 14, 2009 10:08 pm

shleepy wrote:
b3nbranch wrote:I agree ... great article on this mini-ITX compared to the others
I've found.

I'm thinking that in a larger mini-ITX case (Sugo SG05?) with a
picoPSU (no power supply inside the case) you could possibly put one of
several substantial heat sinks in there. In another thread, a poster put
this board in a shorter mini-ITX case and, by using a picoPSU, fit a
Thermalright XP-90 in there. (He had to cut a little bit off the
heatsink base to avoid interference with those nearby capacitors).
A Shuriken fits in the SG05 without even taking out the standard PSU, and I think the XP-90 might, as well. The other limiting factor in that particular case would be on the side of the HDD bracket, since the heatsink would most likely reach that side, as well.
A geminii fits in the SG05, that's no the s type, though that also fits. The geminii can passively cool a quad core with just the psu fan taking the hot air out.

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Post by qdemn7 » Thu May 14, 2009 10:33 pm

Zotac is definitely making some nice Mini-ITX boards. If this board had two gigabit ethernet ports it would be perfect for making an Untangle box. As it is, you still have to spend money for a PCI Express to gigabit NIC.

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Post by isme^ » Fri May 15, 2009 6:14 am

cant wait to try it out on my next mini-itx project, at least it has dvi unlike some boards i know -_-

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Post by fri2219 » Fri May 15, 2009 11:50 am

qdemn7 wrote:Zotac is definitely making some nice Mini-ITX boards. If this board had two gigabit ethernet ports it would be perfect for making an Untangle box. As it is, you still have to spend money for a PCI Express to gigabit NIC.
SuperMicro has announced a couple of Atom based (w/PCIe 8x slots) server boards recently, one of them with 2 ethernet ports. No word on availability however. I'm drooling at the prospect of sticking a 4x SAS cage & LP RAID card into a small box some time soon.

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Post by jessekopelman » Fri May 15, 2009 12:46 pm

Ant6n wrote:ironically, i would've liked to see a tv-out. there are some out there still trying to run an htpc or small file server on a 'normal' tv.
But you don't need Ion for your normal TV. Even Atom alone, with no video acceleration, can handle standard def video. Search around and you will find existing Atom boards with s-video out.

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