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