Asus intros feature-packed Atom board for HTPC builders

By Jos · 14 replies
Jul 22, 2010
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  1. Looking to build a small HTPC without breaking the bank? Take a look at Asus' feature-packed AT5IONT-I. This mini-ITX form factor motherboard comes bundled with the recently introduced dual-core Atom D525 processor clocked at 1.8GHz, running alongside Intel's NM10 Express Chipset and Nvidia's next-gen Ion 2 graphics chip with 512MB of dedicated RAM. These components are passively cooled by a massive heatsink, which of course won't be a problem considering the 13W TDP, and they are joined by a few other connectivity and expansion options.

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  2. maestromasada

    maestromasada TS Rookie Posts: 92

    Long way we have gone since Pentium days! wow, I still remeber my rock solid MMX!
  3. Jesse

    Jesse TS Evangelist Posts: 358   +42

    Wow! That thing is amazing! I'm going to grab one of those for sure. I've been waiting for an excuse to build an HTPC
  4. Wendig0

    Wendig0 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,136   +131

    That heatsink is hideous! For €140, or $180, my money would go towards something a little more power and expandability. To each his own I guess.
  5. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,714   +855

    Heh...that thing looks more like a spaceship than a MOBO.
  6. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,286   +902

    @Wendig0: The small form factor, and the power it packs is enough and more than enough for that money. For home usage is MORE than enough power.

    For most of us users that read techspot daily of course it is not enough, but still. I would build a home server with this =) But maybe there are cheaper options probably with an atom N270 to keep as download center and file sharing, but not able to connect to an LCD or plasma to look high definition movies because of the chipset... still :p
  7. Technochicken

    Technochicken TechSpot Paladin Posts: 729

    I'm sure they are not, but it almost looks like the heatsink has capped barbs for watercooling on the back of it, similar to the Gigabyte boards with an integrated waterblock.
  8. Wendig0

    Wendig0 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,136   +131

    I suppose it isn't that bad, though it's uses are fairly limited. Home server use or strict htpc is all it is good for. Drop it in a silverstone sg07 and you've got a fairly decent low budget system.

    For me personally, I prefer to have more options. I've never been a huge Atom or ION fan, and the absence of a PCIe x16 slot bugs me. I need MORE POWER! :)
  9. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,471   +375

    Likewise, NEED MORE OPTIONS. :)

    H55 on most (if not all) ITX motherboards puts the CPU socket incredibly close to any expansion slot, so if you want to use something a little bigger than a stock heatsink you'll be hard pressed to find one. These also boards tend to be lacking in SATA slots, often with two or three and if you want to RAID them, you're out of luck since H55 (being the popular chipset for these) does not have RAID (P55 does, however). I guess with that said, anyone know of a P55 ITX motherboard other than the DFI MI P55-T36? :p

    Other than the price, this new ASUS motherboard is quite appealing to me as a home server/auxiliary storage, especially if you put in a PCIe-x4 RAID card. For HTPC I'm sure people would put a TV tuner cards in it instead.
  10. Wendig0

    Wendig0 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,136   +131

    Unfortunately, the DFI is the only one I know of. I personally despise DFI because their boards are crap, and their customer support is even worse. I'd love to see EVGA or MSI come out with a really nice P55 mini ITX board.
  11. Jibberish18

    Jibberish18 TS Evangelist Posts: 646   +89

    That.........Heatsink........Is.......AWESOME. It's almost the size of the entire board. I like it!
  12. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,485   +45

    Those are the heatpipes.
  13. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,352   +293

    Interesting indeed... Really not a horrible price for what you get, and the cooling system itself might make it worth a look.

    Might be time to finish up fabricating my mini-ITX VESA mount case to attach to the back of my HDTV. Just been waiting for a solid ITX board that I like, and this one has promise.
  14. Why do you rule out raid ? I use software raid0 on winxp and it works sweet as nut. No noticeable CPU impact on a C2D and a goodly improvement on disk speed plus its a step closer to single partition nirvana.
    Passive cooling plus small boot SSD makes for a super duper HTPC/network streamer.
  15. Strange article here. It starts with "building an HTPC without breaking the bank" and then later says the price is high for a minITX. Guess the editor was asleep.

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