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VIA announces Pico-ITX

VIA announces Pico-ITX

"Honey, I shrunk the mobo..." - VIA's new Epia PX is nothing if not tiny.

It seems like only yesterday that I was ranting about my belief that our computer wattage is getting a bit out of hand. Today, I find that I missed a little gem that debuted at CES which is aimed at getting the most out of small packages. The latest VIA Epia board has some big changes in a really, really small form - introducing the Epia PX.

The Epia PX is an all-new form factor which VIA dubs "Pico ITX." Overall, the board measures a whopping 3.9" x 2.8" - not much larger than a business card, and smaller than many packs of gum. But what's amazing about it isn't just its small size, but what's crammed into that size - a full 1GHz C7 processor. The system has enough horsepower to run Vista comfortably, which was the demo from CES.

Paired up with the processor will be one of two (possibly either, depending on model?) bridge chips - either the CX700M or the VX700. Each of these chips is a fully integrated northbridge and southbridge, and both contain HD video and audio out. The CX700M also has a video in, making it a nice choice for smaller HTPC-type setups. The VX700 loses that, but has considerably more USB capacity.

Oddly enough, the board lacks any visible connectors besides an ethernet port and a VGA port. The rest of the connectors are provided entirely through pin-outs on the board, allowing you to route ports to where you'll want them with cabling. Cooling is handled passively by a single plate which lays over the entire board.

It's being rumoured that the board will retail for around $250, which seems a fair price for everything you get in that small of a package. Of course, we'll know a lot more once VIA begins posting it - for now, there's no official word on either price or availability.

Have you got a thought on the miniscule motherboard? Let us hear it in our forums.

40 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Cabe 26th January 2007, 19:35 Quote
I would have liked to see at least the drive connectors (im assuming its sata I havnt seen a full spec sheet yet but the VX700 cirtainly supports it) possibly on the underside?
mikeuk2004 26th January 2007, 20:04 Quote
Wow thats small.
Buzzons 26th January 2007, 20:08 Quote
isnt the line of many pins on one side an IDE port?
WILD9 26th January 2007, 20:12 Quote
I don't see any memory chips/expansion slots?
derbaum 26th January 2007, 20:22 Quote
probably on the downside .
rowin4kicks 26th January 2007, 20:27 Quote
i cant belive the size of this! there is definatly a modding oppertunity here (and how the hell does that thing run vista!?!?!)
Echo 26th January 2007, 20:32 Quote
How many could you fit in a standard casE? It's incredible! but agreed with rowin4kicks, how on earth does such a small chip run vista?
antiHero 26th January 2007, 20:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Echo
How many could you fit in a standard casE? It's incredible! but agreed with rowin4kicks, how on earth does such a small chip run vista?

Quote from MS site:
Quote:
A Windows Vista Capable PC includes at least:
* A modern processor (at least 800MHz1).
* 512 MB of system memory.
* A graphics processor that is DirectX 9 capable.


Just the Memory is the Bottleneck.
LVMike 26th January 2007, 20:50 Quote
i will buy own for a little music/ip radio box build i have planned. Only now, i will add video too!
rpsgc 26th January 2007, 21:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by WILD9
I don't see any memory chips/expansion slots?

Where are the memory slots? :|
Tulatin 26th January 2007, 21:25 Quote
As others have said, likely the underside. Knowing VIA, you'll have a SODIMM and Mini--PCI down there.
Cthippo 26th January 2007, 21:37 Quote
I could use this for a car mp3 player I want to build! ;)
antiHero 26th January 2007, 22:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cthippo
I could use this for a car mp3 player I want to build! ;)

I had the same thought. You could fit that one in case the size of a radio.
Can anyone say DIN slot PC!!!
Nexxo 26th January 2007, 22:22 Quote
Now that is sexy. ;)
David_Fitzy 26th January 2007, 22:31 Quote
why not fit one with a LCD screen in your rigs 5" bays

What ethernet does it support? 1Gb? If it does follow my idea above with an internally fitted network storage box hooked up to the main rig and the pico itx :D

Home made vista-esque sideshow but better!
Tyinsar 26th January 2007, 22:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Echo
How many could you fit in a standard casE?...
Mod a bunch into the rear expansion slot plates and put one in each unused expansion slot - or maybe gut a few old CD-ROMs and put complete systems (including laptop or flash drives) in each 5 1/4" bay :D

Or better yet, skip the case and just mount the whole thing on the back of an LCD or LCD stand.
sam.g.taylor 26th January 2007, 22:39 Quote
Sounds cool. Very cool.
Almightyrastus 26th January 2007, 22:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulatin
As others have said, likely the underside. Knowing VIA, you'll have a SODIMM and Mini--PCI down there.


You can see on the larger pictures:

<a href="http://www.linuxdevices.com/files/misc/via_epiapx_1.jpg">larger pic</a>

there is something on the underside of the board.

might have to look at running one of these of a CF to IDE adapter if possible for a very small solid state video player.
DXR_13KE 26th January 2007, 23:23 Quote
OMG OMG OMG WERE IS MY TAPE?????

holly crab!!!! i WANT one!!!!!! i love big computers but this thing rocks the house!!!!!
Tyinsar 26th January 2007, 23:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DXR_13KE
OMG OMG OMG WERE IS MY TAPE?????

holly crab!!!! i WANT one!!!!!! i love big computers but this thing rocks the house!!!!!
:) the result of geek porn (me wants one too)
Mod_God 27th January 2007, 00:05 Quote
can anyone say really really tiny media center pc!!!
David_Fitzy 27th January 2007, 00:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mod_God
can anyone say really really tiny media center pc!!!
First to make a palm/pocket sized HTPC wins!
neocleous 27th January 2007, 01:04 Quote
This is really cool. I found some more pics here.

http://mini-itx.com/2007/01/26/more-epia-px-pictures

This has sooooooo much modding potential.
r4tch3t 27th January 2007, 01:20 Quote
I am seriously thinking of getting one, depends on the price and the cash I have. Hmm, maybe integrate it into my Hi-Fi, so you don't have to use the HTPC (When I build it)
Seriously thinking of getting one.
I know, battery, pico, SSD, backpack.
Or, I wonder how much free space there is inside my stereo...
neocleous 27th January 2007, 01:27 Quote
You could get an LCD monitor remove the back mod this and a laptop battery in and you have one cool mobile PC not practical but cool.
Tyinsar 27th January 2007, 01:39 Quote
Although it's been done before and quite recently too, I'm waiting for the keyboard PC ;)

I really like this board but by the time you build a complete system it grows quite a bit, especially for a media center since you'd want at least one 3.5" hard drive for storage (well, that's what I'd use because of capacity & cost).

Searching the linked Linux devices though I found this: (link), now that's exactly what I'd buy if I could get it at a reasonable price and from a Canadian (because I'm in Canada) distributer. Slap in a core 2 duo, 2GB ram, and a 7600gt or 8600 when those come out and :D
Perforated 27th January 2007, 01:47 Quote
oh oh oh I like.

I've been looking at small form factor boards with great interest since I discovered the T-amp amplifier... I'm dying to get a couple & build a serious HDD-based, networked micro system (since I'm currently sharing my small living area with a full racked seperates system as my only noise-maker).

This looks absolutely ideal... I'm in lust.
rembo666 27th January 2007, 08:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by antiHero
I had the same thought. You could fit that one in case the size of a radio.
Can anyone say DIN slot PC!!!

They already have DIN slot PCs with Mini-ITX (not even Pico-ITX). You could probably fit the whole headunit, amp and all in a DIN enclosure with that thing!!!.
ikra 27th January 2007, 16:29 Quote
the only thing they need to create now is an lcd as thin as a paper that can get rooled up. Since we have rolled up keyboards and mouse arent that hard to pack along then by that time i would say lan gaming would be pretty easy... lol but the processors and all the other bits have to shrink as well which i dont see happening
M3G4 27th January 2007, 17:43 Quote
Definately potential for a car-radio PC! One that actually fits into a din slot, too! :)
otispunkmeyer 27th January 2007, 19:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by antiHero
I had the same thought. You could fit that one in case the size of a radio.
Can anyone say DIN slot PC!!!

DIN?

most cars can fit doube DIN now man! my focus has double DIN size radio though at the moment the OEM radio is in the cupboard and a DIN sized sony is in its place..... the cover to cover the second DIN sized gap is abit unsightly.

now imagine some how gutting the OEM radio, fitting a quality amp circuit and this little thing with a 2.5inch Solid State drive and a 4-5 inch TFT

if you can some how hide a USB dongle somewhere..... you can get a wireless track ball for your own kinda iDrive lol!
GigantoR 27th January 2007, 22:09 Quote
Can you say render farm in a Micro ATX sized case?? lol
Evenge 27th January 2007, 22:48 Quote
Looks nice!
mikeuk2004 28th January 2007, 00:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rpsgc
Where are the memory slots? :|

Maybe its built in. You can see the IDE pins clear on Mini ITX website. Shame no SATA

You Tube Vid here
Lakeuk 28th January 2007, 01:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mod_God
can anyone say really really tiny media center pc!!!

Had same thought - MythTV frontend
Wolfe 28th January 2007, 09:18 Quote
Name: VIA EPIA PX
Processor: VIA C7 1.0GHz
Memory: 1 DDR2 533 SODIMM socket, up to 1GB
VGA: Integrated VIA UniChrome Pro II 3D/2D AGP graphics, with MPEG-2/4 and WMV9 decoding acceleration
IDE: 1 UltraDMA connector
SATA: 1 SATA connector
LAN: 1 VIA VT6106S 10/100 ethernet
Audio: VIA VT1708A Hi-Definition Audio Codec
I/O: 4 USB 2.0, 1 COM, 1 PS2, 1 LVDS/DVI, 1 multimedia for TV/out, 1 audio for line-out/line-in, mic-in, optical-in, and 7.1 channel output, RJ-45 LAN, VGA




So, yeah, it's a single so-dimm slot, presumably on the bottom of the board.
airchie 28th January 2007, 14:54 Quote
This intregues me.

I bought a Via 13000 board in the past thinking I could use it for an HTPC but it was seriously underpowered.
DVD playback etc was a nightmare.

It has MPEG acceleration but only if your software supports it, which hardly anything did.
MythTV, Mediaportal etc didn't. :(

I'd like to get one of these for my carPC I intend on building.
I drive a Ford and as mentioned earlier, it's about triple-din size so plently of room.
But if I were to use some software like centrafuse, would it be powerful enough?

That's my concern. :s
Da Dego 28th January 2007, 16:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfe
Name: VIA EPIA PX
Processor: VIA C7 1.0GHz
Memory: 1 DDR2 533 SODIMM socket, up to 1GB
VGA: Integrated VIA UniChrome Pro II 3D/2D AGP graphics, with MPEG-2/4 and WMV9 decoding acceleration
IDE: 1 UltraDMA connector
SATA: 1 SATA connector
LAN: 1 VIA VT6106S 10/100 ethernet
Audio: VIA VT1708A Hi-Definition Audio Codec
I/O: 4 USB 2.0, 1 COM, 1 PS2, 1 LVDS/DVI, 1 multimedia for TV/out, 1 audio for line-out/line-in, mic-in, optical-in, and 7.1 channel output, RJ-45 LAN, VGA
Wolfe, can I have a link to where you got that information? I've not seen definitive specs anywhere, it would be good to have a reference.
mikeuk2004 28th January 2007, 22:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Da Dego
Wolfe, can I have a link to where you got that information? I've not seen definitive specs anywhere, it would be good to have a reference.

Try this De Dego XYZ Computing
Soulmage 31st January 2007, 12:56 Quote
I can just imagine using one of these :

http://www.mini-box.com/4GB-DOM

on there and one of these

http://www.mini-box.com/s.nl/it.A/id.417/.f?sc=8&category=13

and have about 10 sets of those.... CLUSTER RAMA BABY!!! :P
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