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Date: June 28th, 2004
Article by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner, Head Editor & Hardware Reviewer)
Product was donated by: VIA
<-- SHOP FOR A VIA EPIA BASED MINI-ITX MOTHERBOARD HERE

 

PRODUCT TECHNOLOGY


For such a small size that I will show you in the pictorial, this unit is PACKED full of features.




The one major improvement over the m9000 is the CPU upgrade. Not only is it 67Mhz faster, which is not a huge deal, but the core architecture is vastly improved. The 933Mhz C3 processor incorporated into the m9000 was based on the Ezra core which was held back by the CPU's FPU (Floating Point Unit) only running at half of the core speed. The upgrade to the Nehemiah 1Ghz core brought the FPU unit up to full speed and the outdated AMD 3DNow instruction set was replaced by Intel's expandable SSE optimizations. Now this does not pole-vault the M10000 or the MII10000 into the performance ranking of the P4 or AthlonXP series of processors which is not its intention, but significantly improves the performance over the m9000.




To accomplish everything the MII10000 is capable of doing, the chipsets had to pull up their socks and take on more tasks than the standard motherboard. To accomplish this, the MII10000 includes the CLE266 (CastleRock) northbridge chipset which acts as more than a controller for the CPU and system RAM. The CLE266 chipset has an included MPEG-2 decoding capabilities and a integrated VIA Unichrome onboard 2D and 3D graphics processor. Seeing that this is a multimedia motherboard and the included CPU is not overly fast, the MPEG-2 decoding is handled by the northbridge which leaves the CPU available for other tasks.



The Via VT8235 southbridge is a very common chipset used in motherboards such as the P4PB Ultra or the Soyo P4X400 and adds USB 2.0, 10/100 ethernet and 6 channel sound support.


Now what really sets the MII10000 apart from the M10000 is the inclusion of the Ricoh R5C476 II / R5C485 CardBus Controller. With this one chip, you add full CardBus Type I & Type II capability along with native Compact Flash support.


Another feature not seen on the M10000 is the inclusion of onboard VIA VT6307S IEEE 1394 controller aloowing full firewire support for digital editing and media downloading from newer DVI camcorders.

 

 


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