First Look: Zotac H55-ITX WiFi

February 21, 2010 // 12:02 p.m.

Tags: #h55 #itx #mini-itx #mobo #motherboard #pcie #pci-express #pics #pictures #preview #sata #sff #small #wifi #x16 #zotac

First Look: Zotac H55-ITX WiFi

Manufacturer: Zotac

Zotac isn't chasing a high performance, high investment and few sales market with its motherboards. In fact, it's arguable the only designer/manufacturer (well, the latter part is technically fulfilled by PC Partner) of motherboards that puts its time exclusively into small form-factor (SFF) products. We first saw their micro-ATX GeForce 9300 board, which was then followed by a mini-ITX model, and later a feature-filled Ion board that had everything but was unfortunately just too expensive.

This time round though, we think Zotac is onto a winner: price and performance permitting, of course. If you thought the DFI MI P55-T36 was good, in our opinion you're really going to like this - the Zotac looks even better.

Feature List

  • Support for Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 LGA1156 processors
  • Intel H55 PCH
  • Support for dual channel DDR3 1,066/1,333 up to 8GB
  • 14 USB 2 ports: ten via rear I/O, four via headers
  • Six SATA 3Gbps
  • Wireless-n Ethernet
  • Intel PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet
  • Realtek ALC888 7.1 Channel High-Definition audio
  • One x16 PCI-Express port
First Look: Zotac H55-ITX WiFi First Look: Zotac H55-ITX WiFi
Click to enlarge

As usual, Zotac has meticulously crammed in more hardware than we thought was possible on an mini-ITX PCB. We've yet to see another mini-ITX board with six SATA ports, a full x16 PCI-E slot and wireless-n card built in. It really is the all-in-one PC. The immediate downside is that the H55 chipset doesn't support RAID on all those SATA ports, unlike P55. However it does mean the rear I/O sports the integrated graphics options the DFI did not, meaning that this board can power a potentially an incredibly tiny HTPC. We only wish now Zotac could put it in a cute barebones box as well.

Anyone know an elegant case? Something such as this but that costs this?

OK, I'll keep dreaming.

First Look: Zotac H55-ITX WiFi

Yes, that's ten USB 2 ports (with four more via pin-outs), on top of the DVI-I (that will convert to d-sub via an adapter), HDMI 1.3a output, Gigabit Ethernet, PS2 keyboard, eSATA (not powered unfortunately) and digital optical and 3.5mm analogue out for 7.1 channel surround sound in addition to the two wireless antenna. Phew.
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