Articles: Mainboards

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We can’t leave out one more important feature of the GeForce 9300: this chipset GPU has PureVideo HD engine providing hardware acceleration of the HD video stream in H.264, VC-1 and MPEG-2 formats. In other words, Zotac GeForce 9300-ITX WiFi plays HD video with minimal CPU utilization, just like Intel DG45FC.

Moreover, I have to add that just like other Nvidia GPUs, GeForce 9300 supports CUDA technology that allows transferring some common calculations from the CPU to the GPU. The number of applications that can benefit from this feature of Nvidia graphics solutions keeps growing day by day. Among them are Folding@Home distributed computing project or Elemental Technologies BadaBOOM video encoding utility, for example.

Having gone so far into details about the features of Zotac GeForce 9300-ITX WiFi graphics core we have almost forgotten about one more unique feature of this mainboard, which gave its name the “WiFi” suffix. The thing is that this mainboard comes with a daughter card, which is a wireless network controller with USB interface. This controller uses a VIA VT6656 chip and supports 802.11b/g protocols. The accessories also include a 2dBi antenna.

Summing up what we have learned at this point, we can say that Zotac GeForce 9300-ITX WiFi has much more extensive functionality than Intel DG45FC. First of all, it refers to the graphics core, but can also be seen in several other aspects. For example, we have every right to state that Zotac platform looks much more like an enthusiast solution. The BIOS Setup of this board, unlike that of Intel DG45FC, offers some options for overclocking of the system CPU and integrated GeForce 9300 graphics core.

To be more exact, the board offers special functions for adjusting the CPU, memory and chipset voltage and allows setting the FSB frequency in a pretty wide range. At the same time, it gives you a lot of freedom in managing the memory frequency dividers and timing settings.

The board also allows adjusting the graphics core frequency:

Frankly speaking, we were a little surprised to discover overclocking CPU and GPU tools in the BIOS of a Mini-ITX mainboard. Any increase in the frequencies and voltages over their nominal value leads to inevitable increase in heat dissipation and power consumption, which is not very good for compact systems like HTPC. Therefore, it would make much more sense to have some options for lowering the voltages of the major system units below their nominal settings. However, unfortunately, there are no options like that in the BIOS Setup.

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