VIA Releases Mini-ITX 2.0, NVIDIA Pleased with PCI-E Support

Rob Williams

Staff member
From our front-page news:
In case you haven't noticed, VIA has been in the news a lot over the past few months, and for good reason. While they are still best known for their chipsets, they've been branching out into the CPU market, while juggling other ventures as well.

Announced during a press conference was Mini-ITX 2.0, an upgraded spec for the form-factor that was first incorporated about eight years ago... and one that Intel has also just picked up. The new standard has a few decent guidelines, such as requiring HDMI and VGA, 3 audio jacks for 6-channel sound, 1 LAN, 2 S-ATA and 1 P-ATA and also a PCI-Express slot.

Between the new and old, the size of the board itself remains identical. VIA of course had a board on display, using their Nano CPU, but anyone (namely AMD or Intel) is free to license the design.

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VIA's Mini-ITX 2.0 and NVIDIA Support</td> </tr> </tbody> </table>
That announcement was of course significant news, but even moreso was the clear effort between NVIDIA and VIA to create a great low-powered and high-performance platform. Using a 1.6GHz Nano along with an 8500 GT from NVIDIA, the system was able to load and play Crysis and BioShock with little issue. They didn't run ultra-smooth, but it was still playable... and we are on the right track.

The 8500 GT is not the most impressive card out there, but for this platform it's very appropriate. It offered perfect 1080p playback, and allowed a decent gameplay experience. The reason they didn't demo with a bigger card was for the simple reason that the GPU needed to be contained without the boundaries of the Mini-ITX board.

Given the performance we've seen and the potential price of the entire setup, this may very well be one heck of an attractive offering once all of the parts are available for purchase. We'll be keeping our eye close on both the latest platform along with VIA's quickly-growing relationship with NVIDIA.