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Review: VIA Pico-ITX - not quite the perfect form-factor

by Jo Shields on 29 February 2008, 23:21

Tags: VIA Technologies (TPE:2388)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qalwi

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Doing The Things A Particle Can

Item Specifications
Processor VIA C7 1.0 GHz (soldered on, not replacable)
Chipset VIA VX700 Unified Digital Media IGP Chipset
Memory support 1 SODIMM, non-ECC, unbuffered memory, 1 GiB max
VGA Integrated VIA UniChrome Pro II
D-sub output (DVI via supplied dongle)
ATA 1 x Ultra DMA 133 / 100 / 66 controller provided by VIA CX700
(44-pin laptop sized connector)
SATA 1 x Serial ATA provided by VIA CX700
LAN VIA VT6106S 10/100Mbps LAN controller
Audio VIA VT1708A High-Definition Audio Codec
USB 4 x USB2.0 ports (via supplied dongle)
Back panel I/O ports 1 x VGA
1 x RJ45 LAN
Internal I/O connectors Pico-ITX 24-pin power (ATX adapter supplied)
Audio headers (Mic & Front Out dongle supplied, S/PDIF and 5.1 extra)
Multimedia headers (TV-out & Video in, not supplied)
4 x USB 2.0 header (dongle supplied)
CPU fan header
1 x SATA
1 x LVDS/DVI header (dongle supplied)
1 x PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse header header (dongle supplied)
1 x COM header (dongle supplied)
Form factor Pico-ITX - 100mm x 72mm (3.9in x 2.8in)
Estimated street price £160, inc VAT


A somewhat shorter list than usual, but with this kind of form factor, that's no surprise. There are some oddities though. There's a header for (optional and not provided) S/PDIF input, but not output? What purpose does that serve? The networking is only 100Mbit too, so there are better prospects for building a file server (not to mention the single SATA link). That said, it's difficult to criticise this system for lacking expansion opportunities, given how little space there is on it.