A Japanese mainboard maker IBASE Technology last week unleashed its mini-ITX mainboards based on the RADEON 9100 IGP core-logic from ATI Technologies. This is the first time for mainboards in mini-ITX form-factor to feature a powerful chipset for Intel Pentium 4 processors with high-performance integrated graphics core.
Mini-ITX form-factor and range of mainboards were first proposed as a reference design by VIA Technologies at the end of 2001 and a VIA subsidiary EPIA has been practically the one and only supplier of mini-ITX products. The main peculiarity of mini-ITX is a very small size allowing to build very unusual and sometimes truly ingenious systems. A serious disadvantage of such PCs is definitely their performance: being powered by VIA Technologies’ C3 microprocessors, the masterpieces were not capable of running serious applications fast enough. Now that there is a Mini-FlexATX/Mini-ITX mainboard for Intel Pentium 4 processors, even the smallest systems are very likely to become powerful to work well in today’s environments.
The MB870 from IBASE Technology can boast with all peculiarities of a system which performance is likely to be high enough even for a gamer: support for Intel Pentium 4 microprocessors with up to 3.20GHz clock-speed, rather powerful graphics core with DirectX 8.1 capabilities support, up to 1GB of single-channel PC3200 memory, 5.1 AC’97 audio, 10/100Mb/s LAN controller and 1 Parallel ATA-33/66/100 connector.
Previously all mini-ITX mainboards only supported Mobile Pentium 4 or Pentium M processors from Intel offering considerably lower performance compared to 3.20GHz Pentium 4 processor with Hyper-Threading technology.
The price you have to pay for the MB870 masterpiece is $285, according to Akiba PC Hotline, well above the price of a fully-fledged ATX desktop mainboard. The source does not tell anything about the demand for such product by customers.