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The idea behind the Thin Mini-ITX form factor, besides the obvious which is to create seriously compact computers, is also to allow for DIY all-in-ones (think of little PCs you can attach to the back of your monitor). Having that said, we don't fully intend to go the all-in-one route in this article, but are aiming to build a powerful Thin Mini-ITX system that can be used in the office or at home as a media PC.
This is what our finished system should look like: extremely compact, powerful, and near silent operation, as in no-moving-parts silent. For less than $700 including a 256GB SSD, we believe you'll love what the final product will look like.
The PC-Q25 vows to be Lian-Li's most advanced Mini-ITX offering yet. The case has plenty of room for high-end hardware, including full-length graphics cards. Besides catering to gamers, the chassis also attempts to woo media buffs with support for five 3.5" hard drives and some impressive cooling options.
The PC-Q25 has received hot-swap connectors to quickly load hard drives, tool-less side panels for faster access and it lost the 5.25" optical drive bay. The new arrival certainly appears to be a more modern enclosure, but it also seems to have a few drawbacks that we'll flesh out right up next.
Today we're looking at a new breed of Mini-ITX motherboards from Asrock called the Z68M-ITX/HT and A75M-ITX. The former is an Intel Z68 board that supports Intel's second-generation Core processors, while the latter utilizes AMD A75's chipset to support Socket FM1 processors, namely the new Fusion A-series desktop APUs.
To spice things up we've selected Intel and AMD's $140 CPU offerings. In other words, this review will also serve as a comparison for the Core i3-2120 and AMD A8-3850.
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