by Anton Shilov
12/07/2010 | 11:08 PM
Gigabyte Technology will offer overclocking capabilities on its mainboard designed for small form-factor (SFF) systems with AMD Zacate dual-core accelerated processing unit (APU). In addition, the company will offer broad multimedia connectivity as well as ability to install a standalone graphics card onto the low-power platform.
As reported previously, Advanced Micro Devices hopes to gain nettop market positions next year when its partners ship micro-ITX mainboards based on Zacate processors for low-power desktop personal computers. About half a dozen of motherboard makers are working on mini-ITX mainboards featuring AMD’s code-named Zacate processors and supporting chipsets. Such motherboards will enable system makers to produce very small systems featuring dual-core microprocessors and DirectX 11 graphics core. Probably, such platforms can also enable all-in-one systems with advanced feature-set.
Based on the picture of Gigabyte GA-E350V-USB3 mainboard, at least one motherboard in mini-ITX form-factor powered by dual-core AMD E350 microprocessor seems to be ready. Moreover, Gigabyte decided to equip the motheboard with rather advanced features, including ability to overclock memory from 1333MHz to 1800MHz and beyond as well as high-quality capacitors. Probably, the company will also provide some ways to overclock the APU itself in order to boost its performance. Typically, such functionality is not included onto mainboards for inexpensive systems as they are mostly aimed at system integrators.
The motherboard is equipped with USB 3.0 controller, multi-channel audio outputs, D-Sub, DVI-I ports and so on. The board can support up to four hard disk drives, the amount that will never fit into any mini-ITX computer cases as well as PCI Express x16 slot for add-on graphics cards, something not common inside low-power SFF systems.
The image of the Gigabyte GA-E350V-USB3 was sent to X-bit labs by an industrial source via e-mail late on Tuesday. Gigabyte Technology and AMD did not comment on the news-story.
AMD E350 APU features two low-power Bobcat cores operating at 1.60GHz, Radeon HD 6310 graphics engine with 80 stream processors and universal video decoder 3.0 engine operating at 500MHz. The chip has 18W thermal design power and comes in BGA form-factor.
AMD Brazos platform for desktops and mobile computers will consist of AMD Fusion accelerated processing unit (APU) code-named Ontario/Zacate as well as code-named Hudson D1 fusion controller hub, which will connect to processor using PCI Express 2.0 x4 bus and will support 4 PCIe x1 ports, PCI bus, 6 Serial ATA-300 ports, 14 USB 2.0 ports as well as integrated clock-generator. The part does not support RAID, Gigabit Ethernet and other capabilities, hence, Brazos platform will hardly be suitable for commercial desktops without additional chips.