[geeks] Two new Intel mini-ITX boards (DQ45EK and DG45FC)

Chad McAuley chizad at gmail.com
Wed May 14 11:53:00 CDT 2008

I just heard about two new mini-ITX boards from Intel that are slated 
for a June release.  Given the D201GLY and other mini PC discissions 
we've had on here recently, I figured some of you would be interested in 

There's two variants, the DG45FC which appears to be geared towards HTPC 
applications and the DQ45EK which is more for business and non 
multimedia intensive home applications.  Here are the common features 
shared by both boards:

- Support for Core 2 Duo, Pentium Dual Core, Celeron Dual Core, and 
Celeron CPUs running at 800MHz, 1066MHz, or 1333MHz bus speeds
- both use variants of Intel's Eaglelake chipset family
- two DDR2 667/800 RAM slots, dual channel support, 4GB max RAM[0]
- single PCI Express x1 slot
- 10 total USB ports: 6 on the back and 4 more available via 3 internal 
- Intel Matrix Storage Technology (RAID 0/1/5/10, plus Matrix RAID[1])
- Intel Pro 10/100/1000 onboard LAN
- Intel High Definition Audio
- one eSATA port

The DQ45EK sports the Q45 Express chipset paired with the GMA4500 
graphics accelerator and dual monitor outputs (one DVI-D, one DVI-I). 
It also has 4 channel audio and six SATA300 ports.

The DG45FC uses the G45 Express chipset paired with the GMA X4500HD 
graphics accelerator.  It has DVI and HDMI outputs, and the X4500HD is 
DX10 compliant and can do hardware decoding of H.264/VC-1 content. 
Storage wise it also boasts hot-plug and NCQ support, but only four 
SATA300 ports.  Finally,  it has 8-channel audio support with five 
analog and one optical port on the back.

No pricing has been released for either of these, but Intel is saying 
that they'll be a bit more expensive than their desktop boards but not 
as expensive as the other mini-ITX offerings on the market. I'm looking 
forward to hearing more about these as we get closer to their release, 
as they both have definite potential for a lot of applications.

[0]: The chipsets themselves both support up to 16GB AFAICT, so I'm sure 
we'll see some mATX Eaglelake boards coming out with support for more 
than 4GB of RAM.

[1]: Allows you to split a pair of drives into two arrays, one RAID 0 
and one RAID 1.  I guess the point is to allow you to have a mirrored 
volume for your OS/data and then the striped volume for scratch 
space/swap/decreasing load times for apps and games/etc.

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