Not one to let its rivals be the only ones to get a piece of the pie, Elitegroup Computer Systems has launched a mini-ITX motherboard called HDC-I2/C60.
The ECS HDC-I2/C60 should be a lot more suited for low-power desktops and HTPCs (home-theater personal computers) than MSI's Z77IA-E53
, if not more so.
We say this because the latter is not a low-end board at all, but a high-end platform forced to make do with a very small package.
What makes this situation doubly curious is that ECS's product is not primarily aimed at multimedia systems. Instead, it is an industrial PC (IPC) mini-ITX motherboard.
Powered by a 24-pin ATX connector, the mainboard supports a C-60 accelerated processing unit (APU) from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).
Featuring two cores that run at 1 GHz, the APU also includes a Radeon HD 6290 GPU, made of 80 Stream processors. Its core speed is 276 MHz, or 400 MHz when Turbo Core is in effect.
The APU is wired to a pair of DDR3 DIMM memory slots, with support for up to 4 GB each. Thus, the top RAM capacity in any system based on the HDC-I2/C60 is 8 GB DDR3-1333 MHz.
Other specs include a single fan-heatsink for cooling (the APU and FCH), two SATA 6.0 Gbps ports, 6-channel HD audio, 10 USB 2.0 ports (four via headers, six on the back panel), Gigabit Ethernet and two display outputs (D-Sub and HDMI with 7.1 channel audio).
As one can see, SuperSpeed USB 3.0 support is the only thing lacking, so anything that communicates over Universal Serial Bus will be limited to 480 Mbps.
We don't know what price ECS will want in exchange for the HDC-I2/C60 mini-ITX IPC motherboard, but we suspect it won't be high, given the previous-generation hardware. Shipments will begin by the end of the month (August 2012), so we'll find out then.