For most of us, Zotac isn't the name that comes to mind when thinking about your next motherboard. Instead, brands like ASUS, Gigabyte or MSI are closer to the tip of your tongue. For HTPC users however, that all started to change with the release of several mini-ITX motherboards based on NVIDIA's GeForce 9300 and ION chipsets. Despite its initial teething problems, the Zotac ION ended up being the perfect motherboard for a DIY low powered HTPC capable of full 1080p video playback.

If you needed more CPU power, Zotac offered the LGA-775 socket GeForce 9300-ITX-WiFi. You got the same mini-ITX form factor, but support for Core 2 CPUs instead of the on-board Atom that its ION boards were limited to. With the release of Intel's first 32nm dual-core processors earlier this year, Zotac wanted to offer an updated platform for SFF or HTPC users who didn't want to sacrifice CPU performance. Based on Intel's H55 chipset and supporting the entire line of Core i3, i5 and LGA-1156 i7 CPUs, Zotac sent us its latest mini-ITX board: the H55-ITX WiFi.


There are a couple of possible directions you can take with the H55-ITX. First, you could choose to turn this into a low-watt HTPC by utilizing a Core i3 and relying on Intel’s HD graphics for your video needs. On the other hand, you could install an i5 or i7 and populate the PCIe slot with a dedicated graphics card for a nice mid-range gaming system. Cases such as the Silverstone SG-06 and the upcoming Lian-Li PC-Q08 would complement a system such as this perfectly.

With these two different directions in mind we have decided to test the H55-ITX with both integrated and dedicated graphics. Decide for yourself which direction works the best for you.

On a side note, even the performance computing market is seeing a transition away from the more traditional full-sized motherboards. In fact, ZOTAC markets only one full-sized ATX board in the US.

 
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  • damianrobertjones - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    Install

    Windows 7 Pro, latest flash installed, IE 8
    Reply
  • Etern205 - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    I've been on this site for years and have not encounter what you're getting. Reply
  • Voo - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link

    Never happened to me, you're sure it's not something nasty on your PC? Wouldn't be the first of its kind.. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link

    It does sound more like an infection rather than one of our ads, though I could be wrong. If you can provide specific details on the advertisement, that would be helpful. (Not that I have nothing to do with ads, but I could at least pass the information along to the appropriate person.)

    Assuming it's an infection (very possibly a rootkit), here are a few suggestions:

    1) http://www.malwarebytes.org/mbam.php">Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware
    2) http://download.cnet.com/Ad-Aware-Free-Anti-Malwar...">Ad-Aware Free
    3) http://download.cnet.com/Spybot-Search-amp-Destroy...">Spybot Search & Destroy

    If you run those and get an infection, and still have issues after cleaning, you might need to try http://www.gmer.net/">GMER.exe... there's a particularly nasty rootkit going around right now that infects your ATAPI.SYS file, and GMER.EXE will fix that one. I don't recommend this as a first option, though, as it's not user friendly and can be a powerful (re: dangerous) tool in the hands of an inexperienced user.

    /Tangent.
    Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    It's always the user hey...

    Tomshardware has recently been diverting my laptop to a malware page so... I asked a forum to check and it happened to them. I then created a clean vm, updated, installed AV, bam, same thing.

    New machine out of a box, the only machine on the connection, updated, AV, bam... re-direction.

    Please resolve your banner situation and I've already sent a mail to Toms with no response. It's not always the users
    Reply
  • The0ne - Tuesday, March 02, 2010 - link

    Toms is not a good site to go to nowadays, especially if you don't have the capability to turn scripts off! If you do use some sort of script blocking plugin, take a look at all the fcking junk that Toms has on their site. Truly amazing and disgusting. Mind you I'm not saying they're bad, just a lot of junk the visitor aren't aware of. Reply
  • banthespam - Sunday, February 28, 2010 - link

    I believe FaaR is correct. I was browsing over pc.ign.com and got the exact same page (obvious ad-redirect to malware). So I googled the malware url and found this page. First time I brought it up, it redirected me to the malware site. But it's a one time thing. I tried to reload, clear cache cookies and so on, could never get the malware site again. They're hidding it well. There's probably even some random stuff thrown in so you never know when it'll brought up.

    And yes, just in case, I did scan my comp, absolutly nothing was found. I am not running as administrator thus cannot be infected by rootkits.
    Reply
  • SilthDraeth - Monday, March 01, 2010 - link

    Not running as admin is definitely safer than running as admin, but it does not make you immune to being infected by rootkits. Reply
  • PianoManDan - Saturday, July 09, 2011 - link

    I know this topic is a bit old, but I've just come across it as I'm looking into this board as a change to my current setup.

    Firstly, my use is quite different, and a bit specialist. Hopefully, even though this topic is over a year old, someone will be able to offer some advice.

    My PC is used for Mobile Audio work, as well as a home server with multiple virtual machines. I would like to take advantage of my current equipment and also use it as a relatively decent gaming machine.

    I currently have an i7 870 CPU which I'm using with Gigabyte mATX board. It was in a 2U Rack case (because of my mobile usage), and as the 870 doesn't have on-board graphics, I'm using a Low-Profile ATI 5450 1GB GPU.

    I've just switched to a 1U Case, which mounts the GPU horizontally instead, making room for a full size GPU. This does mean though that the GPU and heatsink is on top of some PCI & PCIe Slots on the mATX board.

    I'm looking at an ITX board instead so the extra space is available for the HSF on the GPU, plus it means I can hopefully take advantage of a full size, better GPU that will be good for gaming. It can't be dual size though (2 PCI Slots in height). I'm not after anything amazing - but just to comfortably manage modern games with good detail.

    So, now you understand my usage, my questions are:
    Can this board handle relatively decent gaming?
    What GPU would you recommend without being overkill for this MB?

    Long-winded I know - but sometimes you need to know the uses before you can comment and make a suitable recommendation. I appreciate any help anyone can offer.
    Reply

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