Oooh, people like it. I must admit that Zotac did an excellent job on the world’s first mini-ITX Atom/Ion motherboard. The product is interesting enough to warrant a follow-up, answering some of your questions that I didn’t address in the original review.

Wake on USB: Flaky at Best

The first question you all asked was whether or not the Zotac Ion board properly supports Wake on USB. When the Zotac board goes into a sleep state can it be “woken up” by hitting a key on a USB keyboard, moving a USB mouse or even using a media center remote control?

Unfortunately the answer appears to be: no, at least not reliably.

I configured Windows Vista to put the system to sleep after one minute and then tried to wake it up. With a Dell USB keyboard and Logitech G5 USB mouse hooked directly up to the Zotac board, neither could pull the machine out of its sleep state. However, if I use the keyboard and mouse through my iogear KVM then the mouse will wake the machine up. The keyboard won’t wake it up at all. Your best bet is to tell the machine to never go to sleep. Drawing less than 25W at idle, it’s not the worst thing in the world, but I’d still rather Zotac made it work properly.

I contacted Zotac about the issue but have yet to hear a response. It turns out that the same problem exists on Zotac’s LGA-775 GeForce 9300 board so I don’t have high hopes for a quick fix at this point. I’ll keep pushing from my end to see if we can get somewhere with it.

Zotac Ion: 720p Gaming Performance
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  • UltraWide - Thursday, May 21, 2009 - link

    are there full screen playback limitations???

    this is not good news...
  • Pandamonium - Thursday, May 21, 2009 - link

    I'm curious about this myself. I wonder if the scaling is a limitation of the GPU? I just can't see how it would be CPU-bound if usage is below 80%.

    I think all the HTPC users want to know is if this thing is viable for Blu-ray (confirmed), remote power on/off (fingers crossed for Zotac's response), and full screen (1080p and 720p) playback of 720p and 480p flash video (negative at stock speeds). I don't have a Netflix subscription myself, but I imagine people are also interested in knowing what quality stream it can play smoothly.

    I think the holy grail for many HTPC enthusiasts is a quiet/low power machine capable of S3 shutdown/resume via USB, yet powerful enough to handle physical media and streamed media at HD resolutions.

    Could you do a quick followup on the capabilities of the overclocked board? This is very close to what the HTPC crowd has been waiting for.
  • roamer - Wednesday, May 20, 2009 - link


    could anymobody please test the performance of the onboard NIC?
    In another review it was mentioned that the troughput was only 19,5 MB/s. This would be really poor for GbE NIC.
  • flipmode - Wednesday, May 20, 2009 - link

    Anand, your response to feedback is very commendable. You're a class act. Thanks. flipmode.
  • UltraWide - Wednesday, May 20, 2009 - link

    It answered all my lingering questions.

    Now, I am just waiting for this to be in stock anywhere. I have purchased all the other required parts...

    Zotac, hurry up!!!!
  • Basilisk - Wednesday, May 20, 2009 - link

    ... but not directly plugged into the board, that's pretty odd. It's counter-intuitive to me -- shouldn't your KVM be identical to a comparably long USB extension cable? I'm puzzled you didn't write more on the point. I'm curious what other hook-up variations might enable wake-up: extension cables, wall-powered USB hubs, different mice/keyboards. Or... is your KVM, itself, re-shaping the USB signal in some way in some way beyond adding resistance to the wires?!
  • 457R4LDR34DKN07 - Wednesday, May 20, 2009 - link

    I am really kind of interested in seeing the point of view ion board. Then at least you have the option of upgrading the the not so sucky but still integrated video.
  • sprockkets - Tuesday, May 19, 2009 - link

    Zotac's earlier nVidia 7100 boards could not do S3 standby properly; it required a new board revision to fix it.

    Perhaps this board isn't making enough 5VSB for the peripherals.

    Hey Anand, care to stick a Super Talent ssd in the mini pci-e slot to test it?">

  • AmdInside - Wednesday, May 20, 2009 - link

    For what it's worth, I have an HP Slimline PC with nForce 430/Geforce 6150 and also a custom built PC with Asus Geforce 8200 motherboard and both have no problems waking up from USB whether it is wireless keyboard or MCE remote control. I use them both as HTPCs so they go to sleep quite often and are woken up by USB often.
  • lemonadesoda - Tuesday, May 19, 2009 - link

    Did you remember to select, in control panel, mouse, properties, hardware, properties, power management, "allow this device to bring computer out of standby"?

    It is silly this is not set to "true" by default.

    The KVM driver probably HAS this set to true by default.

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