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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  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, May 19, 2009 - link

    The Logitech G5 actually sets this option to true by default in Windows Vista, and yes it was enabled. I'm still waiting to hear back from Zotac on it.

    Take care,
  • Badkarma - Wednesday, May 20, 2009 - link

    Thanks for writing something on the Wake on USB issue, it's really too bad Zotac leaves this feature out on HTPC-centric mobos.
  • icrf - Tuesday, May 19, 2009 - link

    I'm more curious about HD flash video, like Dr. Horrible on Hulu, or NCIS on CBS, or Heroes on NBC, than I am about SD flash scaled to HD resolutions. I haven't had major issues with SD hulu on my Atom netbook, but the HD content would be nice, especially considering how awesome this would be as an HTPC.

    But, that aside, wake-on-usb for a remote is the primary concern. Keep hounding them for us. :)
  • icrf - Tuesday, May 19, 2009 - link

    Also, on scaling flash video to full screen, I think there are underlying problems. My C2D E6600 can't smoothly scale flash video on my WQXGA moniter. I checked task manager, and the CPU isn't maxed out, but the video is pretty jumpy. My 1024x600 Atom netbook does just fine. Different browsers don't make any difference on either box.
  • ltcommanderdata - Tuesday, May 19, 2009 - link

    I wonder if you could do a review of the GN40 chipset and compare it to the 945G and Ion. The GN40 and the GMA 4000 may not be as fast as the nVidia 9300, but it seems that the primary limitation in gaming is Atom itself anyways even with Ion. The GN40 is supposed to offer accelerated 720p playback so it may well be good enough on the multimedia side.

    It also wouldn't surprise me if the GN40/GMA4000 is what is integrated into Pineview.
  • icrf - Tuesday, May 19, 2009 - link

    I thought the HD-decoding GPU wasn't actually an Intel part? If that's the case, it's doubtful the current GPU is what makes it on-die.
  • MadMan007 - Tuesday, May 19, 2009 - link

    Is it possible wake on USB is a chipset problem? Do other manufacturer's GF9300/9400 motherboards have no issue waking from USB?

    Anyway Atom is still a little too underwhelming to me for what I'd look to use it for. I'd rather go with the Zotac 9300ITX LGA775 and a cheap C2D-based Celeron. Poor flash video playback just kills it, maybe Adobe will make those things GPU-accelerated in the future. If that or other tasks that require some modicum of CPU grunt weren't expected I'd get a 945-based Atom board.
  • plschwartz - Friday, September 4, 2009 - link

    I think I read that the 9300 775 board in newer revisions now wake on USB But the earlier versions are still sold in US.
    I am going to Hong Kong next month and will get board there.
    How on this board can one find out the revision number?

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