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AMD Zacate mini-ITX Motherboards Preview

Gigabyte GA-E350N-USB3 Preview

Manufacturer: Gigabyte

The first AMD Fusion APUs, codenamed Bobcat, have just been launched. What's more, we've already managed to have a look at a number of mini-ITX motherboards using the dual-core Zacate flavour of the CPU architecture.

First up is Gigabyte's GA-E350N-USB3 board. Much like the Atom-based mini-ITX boards of yesterday, the GA-E350N-USB3 integrates the E-350 APU onto the actual PCB itself. This is because there is simply no socket option available from AMD.

AMD Zacate mini-ITX Motherboards Preview Gigabyte GA-E350N-USB3 Preview AMD Zacate mini-ITX Motherboards Preview Gigabyte GA-E350N-USB3 Preview
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The board's colour scheme follows Gigabyte's traditional blue styling, although the heatsink for the APU and Hudson 'M1' southbridge is a deep silver, much like the heatsinks on Gigabyte's recent P55 and P67-based hardware. Gigabyte explained that it could passively cool the board, but many users don't understand that passive fins still need space to form a convection cycle in order to cool correctly. As such, sticking the board in a tiny mini-ITX case would obstruct the needs of the passive cooling system. Basically, you'll need a fan unless you have plenty of case airflow.

On the plus side, though, it's worth noting that the heatsink is screwed down properly, without push-pins, and this is now a common feature of all Gigabyte motherboards, including those at the low end.

AMD Zacate mini-ITX Motherboards Preview Gigabyte GA-E350N-USB3 Preview AMD Zacate mini-ITX Motherboards Preview Gigabyte GA-E350N-USB3 Preview
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