Intel's Ivy Bridge CPUs will be launched in a couple of weeks, so motherboard makers are showing their 7-Series platforms, even very small ones.
Contrary to what some may think, a powerful computer does not actually need to have a huge main unit, far from it.
It all boils down to the motherboard size and how many features a hardware maker can cram into it.
Zotac's Z77-ITX WiFi shows that even a mini-ITX motherboard can support all the Panther Point chipset and Ivy Bridge CPU features.
“ZOTAC is the global innovator when it comes to mini-ITX mainboards. We continue to push the performance envelope with mini-ITX to rival much larger systems,” says Carsten Berger, marketing director, ZOTAC International.
“The latest Intel Ivy Bridge processors paired with our ZOTAC Intel 7-series mini-ITX mainboards make an unbeatable performance combination without sacrificing energy-efficiency.”
Even when smaller than the ASUS Maximum V GENE
, the ZOTAC Z77-ITX WiFi somehow crams together two DDR3-1600 memory slots (2,133 MHz when overclocked) and a PCI Express 3.0 x16 slot (for graphics cards).
Knowing how powerful video boards are nowadays, this means that small PC boxes can breeze through any game.
It doesn't take too much imagination to picture this platform inside a small LAN party case and loaded with high-end hardware.
That said, Zotac tossed in two HDMI outputs, a mini DisplayPort connector, two SATA 6.0 Gbps ports, two SATA 3.0 Gbps connectors and a bunch of USB ports/headers. Finally, 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth 3.0 go without saying.
In addition to the ZOTAC Z77-ITX WiFi, the company has a H77-ITX WiFi board too, which lacks overclocking but is otherwise identical to the Z77.