Motherboard Guide

Zotac GeForce 9300-ITX WiFi review

Small Wonder - Zotac GeForce 9300-ITX WiFi

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Pocket Rocket

Pocket Rocket

For a long time, integrated graphics processors (IGP) have had a bad reputation amongst computer users. Anyone who has an inkling of knowledge of graphics chipsets will avoid IGPs in the same way Count Dracula avoids the sun. Truly, most, if not all IGPs, have long been considered as nasty things due to their incompetent graphics performance that is suited to nothing more than standard office editing applications.

AMD was probably the first to shake things up in the IGP platforms market with their AMD 690G platform and has raised the bar yet again with the AMD 780G platform boasting the Radeon HD 3200 graphics core. You can actually have a decent gaming platform out of these and have silky smooth Full HD video playback of Blu-ray content - all of which says quite a bit of its power under the hood against past IGP implementations. But all this graphics goodness has so far been on the AMD processor based platform.

Fortunately, NVIDIA has come around last year to inject a much needed boost to the IGP scene involving Intel processor platforms with their GeForce 9300/9400 motherboard GPU (mGPU). Its success can simply be expressed by the fact that Apple's entire new product lineup from desktops to Macbooks are all equipped with this system chipset. In our first experience with it, we were impressed at how much more powerful it was than anything that came before it, including Intel's then new GMA X4500HD graphics engine on the G45 chipset. Undeniably it is the current king of the hill of IGP chipsets for both the Intel platform and in certain aspects, even the AMD platform with their equivalent 8300 series.

With that in mind, we turn our attention to the Zotac GeForce 9300-ITX WiFi (hence forth known as the Zotac 9300-ITX). As its name hints, the Zotac 9300-ITX comes in a mini-ITX form factor, measuring only 17 by 17cm, which is surprisingly small (compared to your standard fare of other boards). Coupled with the highly capable GeForce 9300 mGPU, this makes it the ideal platform for HTPC setups.

Now, here's a quick look at how small a mini-ITX board is, and then what the package comes with along with the board's technical specifications:

Motherboard package accessories:

  • Driver CDs
  • Installation Guide
  • User manuals
  • I/O Shield
  • 2 x SATA data cables
  • 1 x Molex to SATA power cable

Wi-Fi accessories:

  • 1 x Zotac GeForce 9300-ITX WiFi module
  • 1 x Antennae