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 ASUS Preps Mini-ITX HTPC AMD Motherboard with USB 3.0

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Damhieyu
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PostSubject: ASUS Preps Mini-ITX HTPC AMD Motherboard with USB 3.0   Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:33 am

The electronics show in Taipei, Taiwan is going strong and most PC suppliers and hardware makers have already publicly unveiled their product lineups. ASUS, as expected, has one of the biggest and varied collections among its peers and/or rivals, with Hydra-Equipped motherboards and WirelessHD notebooks being only the tip of the iceberg. Deciding it is time to bring more of its collection to the surface, the Taiwanese outfit has revealed the M4A88T-I Deluxe mini-ITX motherboard.

HTPCs are known for being small form factor systems with only as much performance as is needed to handle high-quality multimedia files. This new motherboard from ASUS fits the size need but takes the performance level up a notch from what has been available so far. This is owed to the support for AM3 CPUs and the Radeon HD 4250 integrated graphics that comes with the AMD 880G northbridge + SB710 southbridge chipset.

Those that want a stronger graphics adapter than the one provided may simply place the model of their choice onto the PCI Express x16 slot. Additionally, the three SATA 3.0Gbps ports should allow for more than enough storage space. There are two things that stand out more than these components, though. For one, ASUS implemented, instead of regular memory slots, a pair of SO-DIMMs, akin to those used in mobile PCs, to save space. The other feature that is not very common in HTPCs is the Core Unlocker function, which can activate the disabled cores on certain AMD chips.

Other specifications of the platform include an eSATA connector, 5.1 channel audio, the necessary DVI and HDMI outputs, LAN, Bluetooth (for communication with phones and other mobiles), the turbo Key II performance optimization technology and, somewhat surprisingly, a pair of USB 3.0 ports. Unfortunately, there are, at this time, no pricing and availability details.

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