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Zotac D2700-ITX Wi-Fi Supreme preview: Atom with GeForce

In theory the Intel Atom and AMD E processors remain ideal for small HTPCs. They are efficient and easy to keep silent, and also affordable. However, the graphics capabilities of the Atom D2700 aren't quite up to par. AMD does better in this regard, but even its GPUs in the E-350 and E-450 aren't powerful enough to simultaneously run all forms of post-processing on HD video. Moreover, the AMD E-CPUs aren't fully compatible with the Linux version of XBMC.

The limitations of the Atom D2700 have apparently made Zotac take a step back to reflect on possible solutions. What if you combine the new Atom processor with a dedicated and energy-efficient GPU? The result is the Zotac D2700-ITX Wi-Fi Supreme motherboard, on which the Atom D2700 processor is accompanied by an Nvidia GeForce GT 520.

The Zotac D2700-ITX Wi-fi Supreme motherboard is of the small mini-ITX form factor and therefore fits in the smallest HTPC chassis. It's built around an Intel Atom D2700 processor with Intel NM10 chipset, and an Nvidia GeForce GT 520 GPU with 512MB DDR3 memory. It includes DVI, HMDI and DisplayPort connectors.

The motherboard has a single PCI-Express x16 slot for an optional expansion card. RAM goes in the two DDR3 SODIMM slots. You have two SATA300 connectors and an mSATA connector for a small SSD, which is practical for when you want to make an XBMC-based media streamer that retrieves data from a NAS.

The board has six USB 2.0 ports, of which two are external. There are two USB 3.0 ports, controlled by an EtronTech chip. A Realtek ALC892 chip takes care of the 7.1-channel audio, and there is an optical digital audio out.

In addition to a Gigabit LAN port, the board also has an onboard Mini-PCIe WLAN card for the 802.11n wireless network (150N) and Bluetooth. In terms of features for a HTPC, it is pretty comprehensive. You can read the rest of Zotac D2700-ITX WiFi Supreme preview on