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Nano X2-fueled Mini-ITX board targets DIY home media crowd

Nov 11, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 9 views

Via Technologies announced a Mini-ITX motherboard with a dual-core, 1.4GHz Via Nano X2 processor and Via VX900 chipset. Aimed at DIY home media modders, the Via VE-900 Mini-ITX Mainboard supports up to 8GB of DDR3 memory, and offers dual SATA connectors, a PCI slot, and coastline I/O including gigabit Ethernet, serial, VGA, USB, and HDMI ports.

Via created the first 6.7 by 6.7-inch Mini-ITX motherboard back in November, 2001, and is celebrating the form factor's tenth anniversary with the VE-900. The motherboard is aimed at the largest consumer audience for Mini-ITX: DIY enthusiasts who want to "custom build stylish home desktop and media center PCs," says Via.

Via VE-900 Mini-ITX Mainboard

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Like Via's recent VB8004 and Epia-M900 Mini-ITX boards, the VE-900 sports the dual-core Nano X2 E-Series processor, clocked here to 1.4GHz. The VE-900's Nano X2 is matched with the VX900 companion chipset, which is touted for its ability to provide 1080p video playback "without incurring a heavy CPU load," The chipset offers hardware acceleration for H.264 video, as well as MPEG-4/AVC, MPEG-2, VC-1, WMV-HD, AVS, Blu-ray, and the latest browser streamed video technologies, according to Via.

The VE900 also features a third Via chip — the VT1708S HD audio codec. The chip is touted for its high fidelity surround sound, stereo 24-bit resolution, and up to 192kHz sample rates.

VE-900 detail

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The VE-900 supports up to 8GB of DDR3 memory, says the company. Dual SATA connectors and a PCI slot are available internally, along with an LPT pin header to support a parallel port.

VE-900 coastline ports

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On the coastline, the board offers a gigabit Ethernet port, as well as HDMI, VGA, serial, PS/2, and audio ports. Also accessible on the coastline are four USB 2.0 ports, augmented by two internal headers that support four more USB 2.0 ports, adding up to a total of eight.

VE-900 with heatsink and fan

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The VE-900 ships with Windows 7 and Windows XP support. However, considering the Linux support offered on Via's other Nano X2-powered Mini-ITX boards, we imagine it won't be too difficult to tuxify the beast.

Features and specifications listed for the Via VE-900 include:

  • Processor — Via Nano X2 E-Series @ 1.4GHz
  • Chipset — Via VX900
  • Memory — up to 8GB of 1066MHz DDR3 RAM via 2 x DIMMs
  • Expansion — PCI slot
  • Networking — gigabit Ethernet
  • Other I/O:
    • Rear panel:
      • VGA
      • serial
      • 4 x USB 2.0
      • PS2 keyboard/mouse
      • HDMI
      • audio line-in, line-out, and mic-in (VT1708S HD audio codec)
    • Onboard headers:
      • 2 x USB 2.0 pin headers for 4 x ports
      • front audio I/O for line-out, mic-in, speaker
      • front panel pin header
      • 2 x SATA
      • sys and CPU fan connectors
  • Power — 24-pin ATX connector
  • Operating temperature — 32 to 113 deg. F (0 to 45 deg. C)
  • Dimensions — 6.7 x 6.7 inches (17 x 17cm); Mini-ITX

Stated Richard Brown, vice president of Marketing, Via Technologies, "November 6th marked the 10 year anniversary of the Mini-ITX form factor which spurred a revolution in the modding community. The VIA VE-900 delivers an affordable, high performance Mini-ITX mainboard that will spur a new wave of inspiration and innovation in the next generation of enthusiasts."


The Via VE-900 Mini-ITX Mainboard is shipping now, with pricing available on request. More information may be found at Via's VE-900 product page.

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