Zotac A75-ITX WiFi – Overview
Zotac is de facto making a mark for itself as a motherboard manufacturer, especially within the small kind factor arena, and this Zotac A75-ITX WiFi actually looks to proceed that trend.
We checked out the Z68-ITX WiFi a little while again and its combination of packed PCB and spectacular efficiency made it an extremely attention-grabbing prospect for a wee Intel Sandy Bridge machine.
Extra suited to the smaller PC although is AMD’s Llano APU. In a form factor the place area is at a premium having decent graphics power on-chip makes for a effectively-rounded machine in a very tight space.
Intel’s Sandy Bridge may additionally have built-in graphics but that hardly provides you much power past a bit gentle media play and standard net-crawling.
The Llano APUs though have discrete-class graphics prowess, perhaps not of the high-finish calibre, but actually much better than something we’ve seen before.
So what compromises have been made to the A75 platform to squeeze it down into this small kind factor?
Zotac A75-ITX WiFi – Benchmarks
You may see from the results below the CPU part of the Llano APU is being hobbled by the motherboard itself. In both the Asus ATX and MSI mATX boards the chips perform much better at straight, conventional CPU tasks.
On the gaming facet although there is no such compromise in performance; excellent news for the mini PC gamer.
Zotac A75-ITX WiFi – Verdict
Inevitably there’s less space on the motherboard itself to allow greater than two DIMM slots and a single x16 PCIe connector, but in such a small kind factor neither signify a large compromise.
Certainly given the restraints having a discrete GPU in the PCIe slot locations on the CPU component of the Llano APUs you may argue that maybe you don’t want one at all.
That said dropping in a small discrete card, like a half-top AMD Radeon HD 6670, provides you a hell of a lift in graphical efficiency with Llano’s Twin Graphics functionality.
We notched up over 25fps in DiRT three at 1920×1080 on the Extremely settings, and for a tiny PC sat beneath your HD tele that wouldn’t be dangerous at all.
You’d want a reasonably chunkier GPU to have the ability to try this on an Intel platform.
But still efficiency does suffer. The straight line CPU scores are a approach down compared with the sort of numbers we’ve been getting out of either ATX or micro-ATX desktop Llano boards. Looking at both Cinebench or the CPU score from Shogun 2 and the performance of the Zotac A75-ITX is noticeably off the pace.
Fortunately that’s solely on the CPU aspect â€“ if you look at the gaming performance of the Llano APU within the little Zotac board it stands toe-to-toe with the larger boards out there.
And as you’re unlikely to be doing any severely processor intensive tasks on such a small field, not less than you shouldn’t expect to, that’s not a significant downside either.
As such you wouldn’t be expecting it to be much of an overclocking board both, regardless of the large quantity of processor head-room the A-sequence, desktop Llano chips have in them. This seems to be where one of the primary areas of compromise lies; there is no such thing as a technique to boost the efficiency of the APU.
Within the BIOS there’s an choice which looks like it must up the multiplier, but because the A-sequence multipliers are locked down, a la Sandy Bridge, there’s nothing occurring within the efficiency stakes. It’s a little bit of a shame given what we’ve managed to squeeze out of the A-sequence chips before, however for an inexpensive little board severe CPU performance isn’t a necessary requirement.
But being a reasonable little board is. Sadly you’re paying quite a premium for the scale of the Zotac A75-ITX WiFi, even our favorite A75, the Asus F1A75-V Pro is nicely over a tenner cheaper and that does have the efficiency chops. We appreciated:
The actual fact there may be a lot squeezed into the Zotac A75-ITX WiFi is impressive. With such critical connectivity options too that’s no mean feat; there’s twin Gigabit ethernet ports on the again with twin WiFi antennae protruding too.
The dearth of compromise on the gaming efficiency too is a very welcome shock, particularly given how hobbled the CPU part seems on this board. We disliked:
Sadly that CPU efficiency is a shame. It’s not a huge problem in small kind factor boards, but realizing you’re lacking out on efficiency you’ve gotten truly paid for is disappointing.
As is the lack of any overclocking potentialities that we could see with the long legs of the AMD A-sequence APUs.
There’s also the actual fact it is moderately dearer than higher performing, although larger motherboards. Even the mATX boards maintain the CPU components ticking over nicely. Last word:
So if form factor is an issue for you, you then’re going to must pay for it.
But nonetheless, Zotac has crammed a huge quantity onto this tiny slab of PCB and as the foundation for a totally-purposeful Fusion mini PC it’s laborious to beat.