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Zotac enables mini-ITX overclocking with Z68

There are many cases in life where small is beautiful, but not so many when the smaller product still carries as big a punch as the ‘daddy’ in the range. We’re thinking Optimus Prime versus the accidental kitchen deceptacons in the Revenge of the Fallen. So what is Zotac up to with its new mainboard range?

The first micro systems were so weak that almost all of the focus was put on the screen. “Look, with this new tiny-tech, you can now deliver information to a wider number of screens than ever before” etc. The Atom systems and mainboards that have covered large areas of Computex over the last few years, have all carried a similar message, “Useful”.

So, here’s a questions. When does ‘Useful’ change into ‘Desireable’ ?

For the KitGuru audience, any smattering of overclocking will instantly increase desirability.

The same goes for discrete graphics. Having a separate GPU is likely to make the juices flow a little smoother.

With the launch of its up-coming Z68-ITX WiFi board, Zotac has addressed some of these areas – making the little package appear very desirable indeed.

First, it will take a CPU up to 95w. While that might not include the best of the best – it is enough to allow you a choice between Core i5 and Core i7.

Second, a BIOS has been implemented which enables oveclocking.

Third, the DDR3 slots will support memory up to 2133 and, finally, the dual antenna WiFi design means that you’re likely to be attached to your home hub a lot more securely when engaged in a 5-on-5 fire fight.

Will the 1GB nVidia GT430 be enough for all your gaming action?  Well, attached to an HDTV screen, it’s reasonable to set the resolution to the same level as your other gaming consoles – so you need to think about scores at 720p.

In KitGuru’s own tests of this card, back in October 2010, we found that it competes very well in the ‘console gaming space’. Here’s a quick reminder of how the Far Cry 2 testing went at 720p with AA enaged.

Even with 4xAA enables, the green line never dipped below the 30fps mark

It will be interesting to see which system integrator is first to market with a design based on this new board.

up close n' personal

It would also be interesting to see what difference an overclocked processor might make to benchmark scores. Probably not as much as it would to all round media processing performance.

Zotac's new Z68 board makes mini ITX overclocking easier than ever

KitGuru says: We want to see just how much power can be packed into a small space. Roll on the next wave of mini ITX chassis designs!

Comment below or in the KitGuru forums.

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